On April 19, 2020, President Donald J. Trump announced that he is invoking the Defense Production Act to give Puritan Medical Products, of Guilford, Maine, federal funding so it can ramp up its production of flocked swabs needed for coronavirus testing.
Puritan is a member of the American Flock Association and with support from Dr. Armand F. Lewis and Dr. Yong K. Kim of the University of Massachusetts developed and patented materials and methods of making swabs that include randomly arranged sea-island bicomponent fibers
“With DPA support, Puritan will be able to increase its industrial capacity in machine tooling, people, and facilities with the broader goal of increasing nasal swab production from 3 million to more than 20 million within 30 days of the contract award,” Peter Navarro, a trade advisor to the President, told CNN in a statement. The CNN story is available here.
“This medical swab is not an ordinary flock product,” said Dr. Kim. “Regular flocked swabs are not as efficient, they may not capture enough of the virus particles and could end up with false negatives.”