May 6 Daily Round-Up: NEC Members Contribute to COVID-19 Crisis Response

As our region and our nation continue to grapple with the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, The New England Council is using our blog as a platform to highlight some of the incredible work our members have undertaken to respond to the outbreak.  Each day, we’ll post a round-up of updates on some of the initiatives underway among Council members throughout the region.  We are also sharing these updates via our social media, and encourage our members to share with us any information on their efforts so that we can be sure to include them in these daily round-ups.

You can find all the Council’s information and resources related to the crisis in the special COVID-19 section of our website.  This includes our COVID-19 Virtual Events Calendar, which provides information on upcoming COVID-19 Congressional town halls and webinars presented by NEC members, as well as our newly-released Federal Agency COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses page.

Here is today’s (May 6, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • Novartis, Takeda Collaborating on Antiviral Treatments – A consortium of pharmaceutical companies including Novartis and Takeda Pharmaceuticals is working to develop antiviral treatments for COVID-19. The group of industry leaders is sharing ideas, resources, and data both within itself and in the public domain to accelerate development of treatments. Chemical & Engineering News has more.
  • MIT Researcher Supports COVID-19 Work – Renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researcher Robert Langer has lent his expertise to a variety of efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Langer’s efforts have included advising New Balance on making face masks, assisting biotech company to develop a device to draw blood for antibody tests, and working with Moderna, the biotech he cofounded, on an experimental vaccine. Langer’s contributions were highlighted in a recent Boston Globe article.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • New England Aquarium Launches 24-Hour Livestream – In a new addition to its virtual programming, the New England Aquarium has launched a 24-hour livestream of its most popular attractions to share its inhabitants with visitors. The video feed includes lessons from staff as they showcase the aquarium’s marine life even as it remains closed. has more.
  • Partners HealthCare Executive Calls for Embracing Inclusion for Future Success – Dani Monroe, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Partners HealthCare, wrote an op-ed in partnership with other Boston-area business leaders to discuss the importance and benefits of inclusive workplaces. The piece, published in the Boston Business Journal, encourages companies to foster inclusivity in order to not only weather current economic uncertainty, but to position themselves for future success. Read the op-ed here.

Community Response

  • Rockland Trust Announces $140,000 in First Round of Relief GrantsRockland Trust has selected nine nonprofit organizations to receive grants of $500,000 to support their community relief efforts. The organizations selected for the first round of funds provide emergency support to areas across New England where the bank operates. Read more.
  • LPL Financial Commits $1 Million to Relief EffortsLPL Financial is donating $1 million to assist national and local efforts to support communities affected by the virus through learning loss prevention and free meals. The company has also accelerated its grant program to provide additional support to its existing community partners across the country. Read more in the press release.
  • Simmons University Providing Boston Children’s Staff with Housing – With its campus and residences closed to students, Simmons University is offering housing to workers at Boston Children’s Hospital to allow them to isolate from loved ones or reduce their commute as they work long shifts with COVID-19 patients. The university is providing 58 single rooms to workers on a rotating, two-week basis. Read more.

Stay tuned for more updates each day, and follow us on Twitter for more frequent updates on how Council members are contributing to the response to this global health crisis.

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