- Last year, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell said his company would make and donate COVID-19 masks.
- Lindell told The Daily Beast he lost $7 million on the effort and has millions of masks left over.
- “I can’t give them away,” Lindell told The Daily Beast. “No one wants the things anymore.”
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
In a speech from the Rose Garden last year alongside then-President Donald Trump, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell said his company would produce and distribute face masks to do their part in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, the conservative figure is saying the operation has cost him millions of dollars and that they have millions of masks they can’t get rid of. Lindell told The Daily Beast this week that the mask-making effort cost him and his company a combined total of $7 million.
“I can’t give them away,” Lindell told The Daily Beast. “I tried to. No one wants the things anymore.”
An aide to Lindell told the outlet they had 2 million masks they can’t get rid of, while Lindell suggested they “ought to just burn” them.
Lindell, a loyal Trump supporter, announced in March 2020 that MyPillow was converting 75% of its production, which is based in the US, to making face masks.
He told FOX9 at the time that he did not plan to sell the masks, but instead they would be going to Minnesota and other hospitals around the US. He also said the company was making 100% cotton masks due to the availability of the material.
But Lindell told The Daily Beast that despite his intent to donate masks to hospitals and nursing homes, the masks did not meet the standards for healthcare workers set by the Food and Drug Administration, which require masks to be at least N-95-grade.
Lindell also said his mask-making operation, which The Daily Beast said has teetered back and forth from a charity effort to a business venture, suffered from a saturated market.
Lindell has remained one of Trump’s staunchest defenders. He has continued to push unsubstantiated claims about the election and has even said the former president would be reinstated later this year, a bizarre theory that has no constitutional basis.
Lindell told Insider’s Jacob Shamsian in February that he had already lost $65 million in revenue because of retailers boycotting his business over his election fraud claims. He is also being sued for $1.3 billion in a defamation case brought on by Dominion Voting Systems, an election technology company wrapped up in his fraud claims.