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During Wednesday’s coronavirus task force briefing, President Trump said he gave Walmart CEO Doug McMillon a “very, very big” order for hospital gowns of all sizes and other protective equipment for doctors and nurses dealing with the pandemic.
"I just had a great talk today with Doug McMillon from Walmart and I gave him a very, very big order for gowns, for protective gear for the doctors, for the nurses, for everything and he’s actually very excited about it,” Trump said. "When you look at these hospitals, the amount that they order, you almost say how could they possibly use so much whether its masks or the protective gear, but we are supplying a tremendous amount and we just ordered a lot from Walmart and he’s taking this on personally.”
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A spokesperson for Walmart confirmed McMillon's call with the president on Wednesday and said the company is working on fulfilling the order.
“We’re in the process of working with our supply chain to identify a supplier that can manufacture the gowns based on the specifications needed,” the spokesperson said.
Trump added that he asked McMillon to have the order shipped “directly to the side of the hospital or wherever they need it” in order to save time.
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Vice President Mike Pence, center, talks with order picker Bin Sam, right, as Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue, left, listens during a tour of a Walmart Distribution Center Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Gordonsville, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Walmart’s donation to health care workers comes after Vice President Mike Pence visited one of the company’s distribution centers in Gordonsville, Virginia, where he praised Walmart and other companies for their efforts during the coronavirus.
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“President Trump and I couldn’t be more proud of the way American businesses have stepped forward," Pence said. "Every business has said, ‘We’ll drop anything, we’ll go to work, we’ll make it happen.’”
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In addition to sending protective equipment, Walmart announced a $5 million grant to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response fund on March 21 to support health care workers' efforts on the front lines of the pandemic and to assist in the global effort to help countries prevent, detect and respond to the coronavirus.