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California Spends $1-Billion To Purchase Face Masks For Western State Stockpile

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California plans to spend nearly $1 billion to buy up to 200 million masks each month to boost its stockpile of protective gear during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Some political observers say that’s an eye-popping figure meant to turn California into a distributor of medical equipment for other Western states struggling with supply shortages.

Governor Gavin Newsom made the announcement on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show this week.

State officials have signed a contract with BYD North America to deliver the masks, chosen in part because it is a subsidiary of a company based in China, where most of the personal protective gear is made. The order will include about 150 million N95 masks, which are tight-fitting and designed to protect against particles in the air. The other 50 million masks will be surgical masks, which are loose-fitting and protect against fluids.

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