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BUZZFEED: Workers Union Finds a Company With 39 Million Masks For Doctors And Nurses


A union representing health care workers has found a supplier to provide 39 million masks for desperately under-resourced hospitals in New York and California as medical staff struggle to treat the influx of people who have COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The Service Employees International Union’s United Healthcare Workers West started looking for vendors who could supply masks and other protective equipment five days ago, after “pleas from frontline health care workers that they need more protection and feel unsafe on the job,” they said in a statement on Thursday. Union staff tracked down the supplier with 39 million masks available, along with another who they say can make 20 million masks per week. The union also found another who can deliver millions of face shields.

SEIU-UHW spokesperson Steve Trossman told BuzzFeed News he had no idea why the supplier had such a large quantity of masks on hand. He declined to name the company, but it has warehouses in Pennsylvania and Georgia.