In his personal capacity and through his business, MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell has lost a grand total of millions of dollars on his ultimately failed effort to get majorly involved in selling and distributing face masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the Daily Beast. At present, MyPillow is apparently in possession of millions of face masks that Lindell is apparently at least somewhat interested in burning. After all, he said, he “can’t” even “give them away.” Overall, Lindell — a close ally of former President Donald Trump — has claimed that about 75 percent of MyPillow’s manufacturing space was transformed into a face mask production operation, and he says that total costs stand at about $7 million.
Bizarrely, Lindell blamed — among other supposed sources of his trouble — “many bad people in the mask industry” for his struggles to make inroads in the mask market, although it’s unclear what precisely that he means. Initially, cloth masks that MyPillow produced did not meet standards that had been set by the Food and Drug Administration. As Lindell put it, his company was “only gonna donate to VA hospitals, nursing homes, but the FDA and [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] made it that you could only use certain masks from certain factories.”
As his cloth mask manufacturing operation faltered, Lindell decided to purchase N95 and KN95 masks — which are more formidable — and either donate them or sell them at cost. Some of those went to — among other recipients — the Arizona Navajo Nation and the state of Minnesota; Lindell claims to have donated “a million masks” to the Arizona Navajo Nation. Eventually, Lindell and MyPillow also sought to sell the cloth masks that they had on hand, pricing the items as high as three times the cost of production. Apparently, there weren’t many buyers.
Lindell tasked a firm called Georgia Expo with conducting some of the sewing work for his company’s masks, and he paid Georgia Expo a whopping $800,000, although the company’s vice president of sales, Amanda Gray, notes that those involved in the process had already concluded that “demand was falling off” before the firm’s relationship with MyPillow drew to an end. Now, Lindell claims — wrongly — that face masks don’t even work against COVID-19, claiming to the Daily Beast that “they’ve proven they didn’t help one iota.” It’s another round of failure and ignorance from Lindell, who is also facing a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit over his brazenly false claims that last year’s presidential election was somehow rigged for Joe Biden.