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The U.S. Maker Response to COVID-19

The U.S. government has become world famous for actively ignoring the inbound COVID-19 pandemic, opting to disband the NSC pandemic team which had been directly and recently trained to respond to these issues, splintering them into other roles. The new Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense did not move to effectively prepare the country for a massive biological crisis, leaving most health care (and really, all other) facilities vastly under-prepared to handle the inbound sickness while keeping essential workers protected. Realizing it was time to promote dev to prod, “rapid-prototypers” from all sorts of maker realms from 3D printing to sewing stepped up to donate their time, materials, machinery, project management knowledge, and even personal health in order to get these essential workers the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to ensure they can treat infected individuals while minimizing personal risk. This presentation will provide an overview of these efforts.