In US, Several Cities Receive Broken Ventilators, Masks With 2010 Expiration Date

Cheryl Sanders
April 4, 2020

The shipment of protective gear was allegedly seized by USA officials, who were reported to have diverted 200,000 face masks to the USA before letting the rest of the order arrive in Germany to help in the fight against coronavirus. French officials have accused unidentified Americans of paying over the odds to secure masks in China that had already been earmarked for France. "We need these items immediately for domestic use", he said. There was no immediate response the allegations from the White House or the State Department.

Andreas Geisel, the interior minister for Berlin state, described the diversion as "an act of modern piracy" and pressed to the German government to intervene and demand that Washington follows global trade rules. "You can not act in such a way among transatlantic partners".

The degree of suspicion also feeds into a narrative that it's every nation out for itself as Europeans are also viewing with greater scepticism offers of help from Russian Federation and China, wondering if there are strings attached.

A shortage of protective gear has imperiled doctors, nurses and other front-line medical workers. But some countries have taken a different view, including the US.

"The Americans pay cash sight unseen, which obviously can be more tempting for people just looking to make money off the entire world's distress", she said. Then, as now, Washington officials denied any involvement.

As the coronavirus pandemic worsens, demand for essential medical provides, reminiscent of masks and respirators, has surged worldwide.

3M Co on Friday defended its decision to export respirators from its U.S. facilities to Canada and Latin America, saying there would be "significant humanitarian implications" from halting supplies.

This came after an order signed by U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday that directs his administration to stop N95 face masks and other personal protective equipment needed in the fight against the pandemic from being exported to other countries.

He stated U.S. authorities had taken custody of nearly 200,000 N95 respirators, 130,000 surgical masks and 600,000 gloves.

French officials have also complained this week that Americans had swooped on Chinese masks ordered by France, after apparently outbidding them on a shipment that had already been lined up.

He said some of the equipment had been purchased during the H1N1 outbreak more than a decade ago and that the masks with the fragile elastic had been among products previously recalled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Trump said United States authorities had taken custody of almost 200,000 N95 respirators, 130,000 surgical masks and 600,000 gloves, but did not provide details about where they were seized. "Reports to the contrary are completely false".

Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday he felt "concerned" by a report that a mask order arrived smaller than expected and that some of it was bought by "a higher bidder". There was no immediate comment from the Turkish government.

On Saturday another dispute emerged over emergency medical equipment with Madrid accusing Ankara of retaining a shipment of respirators bought by two regional Spanish governments from a Turkish company.

Other reports by iNewsToday