By now every American should have access to N-95 quality masks. Every day that passes is a scandal & an epic failure of indifference of our government.
Details to come soon. Follow here if interested.
In February, South Korea saw what was coming & decided to make sure everyone who needed it had low cost access to masks.
The Korean Central Government purchased 50% of the capacity of KN95 masks from 130-plus manufacturers.
They had the masks shipped to 23,000 pharmacies and set the price at $1.23 (1500 Korean won). Profit was limited to pennies per mask.
Masks were also distributed to ag co-ops & post offices to reach rural settings.
In March, Korea increased their purchases to 80% of domestic production to support the entire Korean population. The remaining 20% were directed to medical centers.
In Korea the virus was contained, infection was prevented & now Koreans & society are protected from spread & new cases.
In the U.S., the same quality masks are sold by profit-making middlemen for $3-$5 per mask IF bought at high quantity. These are masks made by an American company.
That’s the price for hospitals. They’re still not available to the public.
3M’s customers with pre-existing orders from middlemen May have priority deals. These masks have also been exported extensively until significant pressure was applied.
Procurement of high quality masks— not cotton, not surgical— should be a priority for the US government— now that all but Trump are reluctantly coming to grips with what the rest of the world knew.
Trump’s we “just have to live with it” approach doesn’t include living with it with the best tools in the world. It doesn’t include ramping US manufacturing. It doesn’t include a Task Force to oversee the effort. It just includes an expectation that Americans fend for themselves.
Trump wants Americans to get back to work to spur a recovery to spur stock market growth to spur his re-election. That much he’s clear on.
But to the extent he ever tried, he has now completely quit on us.
A great leader would procure masks for every American.
A good one would require mask use.
A bad one doesn’t care.
We face a similar situation with testing.
A great leader would make sure tests were available for everyone.
A good one would at least take accountability.
A bad one would take mine.
America has leaders, but they’re people like @stroupaloop at @projectn95, who has been out trying to get masks to hospitals & those who need them with no mark up & no middlemen.
People like him and his team, a laissez-faire government, you and your mask sewing & America’s profiteers are what we get in the best & worst of America.
Make no mistake. It’s July, every American should have access to high quality masks by now.
This is the work our government is neglecting.
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