Nearly 200,000 life-saving N-95 masks are being rushed to healthcare workers in the hardest-hit areas of New York and New Jersey by the US Justice Department.
You might ask, why would the Justice Department be involved in providing medical masks? It's because they took the masks back from hoarders who were preventing them from getting to the people who really need them.
The department's new hoarding and price gouging task force says the FBI just uncovered the masks, along with other protective gear, like 600,000 medical gloves, hand sanitizer and other personal protective equipment.
They were allowed to seize the equipment under the Defense Production Act which President Trump authorized. The hoarder of the equipment will be reimbursed at “fair market value”.
New England Patriots Fly in 1 Million Masks
Meanwhile, more than 1 million N-95 masks are also coming to the US from China today, courtesy of the NFL's New England Patriots. A team plane departed from Shenzhen, China, in the early hours this morning.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker struck a deal with China for the masks two weeks ago but needed a way to get them here. Jonathan Kraft, who's president of the Patriots and chairman of the board of Massachusetts General Hospital, told the governor he had something that just might help.
LA Leaders Want Everyone to Wear a Mask
On the West Coast, protective masks are taking center stage as well. The mayor of Los Angeles is calling on people to wear masks or face coverings to help fight the spread of coronavirus.
The city is hoping to produce 5 million non-medical masks to help "essential employees" like grocery workers and pharmacy workers.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, "To be clear, you should still stay home. This isn't an excuse to suddenly all go out, you need to stay at home. But when you do leave the house we are recommending you wear non-medical grade masks, or facial coverings and not take the ones reserved by a medical community."
The mayor says he's calling on Los Angeles residents to take measures, though the CDC has not made the official recommendation.
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