Essay: How It Fell to Private Industry to Come to America’s Aid During the Coronavirus Crisis

The private sector has rallied to the Covid cause, but is that the best way to fight a pandemic?

dollar bill with George Washington wearing a face mask
Brands have led the charge in supplying the Covid-19-fighting resources the country needs. Getty Images

Key insights:

Bayard Winthrop remembers the phone call he got around the end of March that would change the direction of his company and, to a small degree, the nation itself. Winthrop is the founder of American Giant, maker of a thick-woven, domestically produced, $108 sweatshirt that’s colloquially known as “the greatest hoodie ever made.” But as Covid-19 rampaged across the country, Winthrop knew that what Americans really needed wasn’t hoodies, but medical supplies.

@UpperEastRob Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.