As over 112,400 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the United States, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has donated $5 million to help deliver meals during the coronavirus pandemic and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell is making tens of thousands of masks each day.
Brees is funding charities to prepare and deliver 10,000 meals a day throughout the state of Louisiana.
“I’d say, hang in there and maintain hope,” the 41-year-old athlete told the "TODAY" show. “We’ve been through a lot of tough times together, whether it’s hurricanes, oil spills, floods, and this is just another one of those bits of adversity that we're gonna come out better on the other side.”
He added that there was a need to “stick together right now.”
“Obviously it may get a little worse before it gets better, but at the end of the day we’ll become better because of it,” he said. “So many people have been affected by this around the country, but especially in New Orleans, so when Brittany and I think about people’s greatest needs, that is to make sure they and their family are fed and they can continue to sustain. That is where we wanted to start, and obviously there’s a lot more work that needs to be done.”
Last September, Brees was criticized by left-leaning media for appearing in a video clip shared by the socially conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family encouraging kids to bring their Bibles to school.
In 2010, Brees talked about “finding faith, strength and hope in the face of hardship” during a broadcast with Focus on the Family Radio.
In Minnesota, MyPillow workers converted a 200,000-square-foot factory into a facility to produce masks for medical workers, Lindell told FOX News host Ed Henry on “America’s Newsroom.”
Lindell said his company was working with the Trump administration and received information on the design and materials needed to make the masks. “Obviously, we specialize in cotton and we found out different materials that they didn’t want — latex ... and stuff. So, finally, we got the final prototype three days ago.”
The pillow manufacturing company is now able to make about 10,000 masks a day but is trying to increase its capacity to produce 50,000 a day.
“And we’re doing the shipping. I’m shipping them out,” Lindell said, adding that this isn’t too different from what MyPillow was doing earlier. “And I’ve also switched over other companies. I want every other manufacturer [to] see what you can do out there.”
Last year, Lindell shared details about his personal faith journey, revealing that he was a drug addict for nearly three decades before finally stopping in 2009. “I was a crack cocaine addict,” Lindell said. “I was a very functioning cocaine addict.”
“I got freed of all of my addictions January 16, 2009, but at that point I didn’t do a full surrender to Jesus,” he said. “I didn’t give a full surrender until February 18, 2017, so there’s quite a story in between where God was still chasing me.”
The Washington National Cathedral has also donated 5,000 N95 masks to two medical facilities in the District of Columbia metropolitan area, having recently discovered them in storage.
The cathedral announced that they sent 3,000 masks to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and 2,000 to Children’s National Hospital.
The Very Rev. Randolph Hollerith, dean of the cathedral, said in a statement that it was one of many things the congregation was doing in response to the pandemic.
“In these difficult and trying times, the Cathedral community is doing everything we can to help protect the most vulnerable among us from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic,” Hollerith said.
Similarly, Samaritan’s Purse, the evangelical humanitarian charity run by Franklin Graham, opened a 68-bed emergency field hospital in northern Italy to help the medical system as it struggles to deal with the coronavirus.
Last week, the field hospital opened just outside the city of Milan. According to Samaritan’s Purse, the coronavirus outbreak has overwhelmed the medical infrastructure in the area where there are over 92,400 confirmed cases of the virus in the European country.
“The situation in Italy is desperate,” Graham, the son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, said in a statement.