Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
California to Buy 200 Million Masks a Month Amid Outbreak
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 4 years ago on
April 8, 2020

Share

SACRAMENTO — California will spend nearly $1 billion to purchase up to 200 million masks a month to boost the state’s stockpile of protective equipment during the COVID-19 outbreak and could act as a supplier to other Western states, Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

“We’ve been competing against other states, against other nations, against our own federal government’ [for personal protective equipment.] We decided enough is enough.” — Gov. Gavin Newsom

“We’ve been competing against other states, against other nations, against our own federal government” for personal protective equipment, Newsom said Tuesday night on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show. “We decided enough is enough.”

He said the state has signed multiple contracts with an unidentified consortium of nonprofits and a California-based manufacturer to obtain the masks, which will be made overseas.

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.

“We’re going to see supplies at that level into the state of California and potentially the opportunity to export some of those supplies to states in need,” Newsom said.

Photo of Gov. Gavin Newsom
FILE – This Oct. 8, 2019, file photo, shows California Gov. Gavin Newsom during an interview in his office at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. Pacific Gas & Electric’s plan to emerge from bankruptcy faced another threat from Newsom during a Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, court hearing that set the stage for a potentially dramatic showdown later this month. Newsom’s lawyers told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali they want to grill PG&E about the company’s plans to borrow billions of dollars and sell more stock to help pay the $13.5 billion owed to more than 75,000 victims of catastrophic wildfires ignited by the utility’s equipment and negligence. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

Newsom Signed an Executive Order on Tuesday Eliminating Sales and Other Taxes on Masks

California taxpayers will pay $495 million upfront for the masks. The state will pay more as other shipments arrive, with a total estimated payment of $990 million, according to a letter the Newsom administration sent to the Legislature.

Newsom signed an executive order on Tuesday eliminating sales and other taxes on masks, gloves, eye protection, gowns and other materials needed to protect public health amid the coronavirus crisis. It applies to such materials when they are sold to or purchased by the state

The money is coming from a portion of the $1 billion aid package the Legislature approved last month, plus another $1.3 billion disaster response emergency fund.

California has already ordered $1.4 billion worth of personal protective equipment and distributed 41.4 million N95 masks. But the state has had trouble finding enough masks to meet the needs of its nearly 40 million residents. One shipment from Texas had to be sent back because the masks carried mold, Newsom said.

In Santa Clara County, where the U.S. had one of its first confirmed COVID-19 cases, public health officials are so worried about a shortage of protective gear that they have ordered businesses and individuals to tell the government if they have stockpiles of more than 5,000 gloves and 500 masks. The government promised to keep the figures confidential.

[covid-19-tracker]

Newsom: State Can’t Rely on the Federal Government

“We can’t rely solely on our state and federal government. We have to turn locally to see what capacity for inventory exists here in our county,” said Dr. Jennifer Tong, hospital surge capacity branch chief for the Santa Clara County Emergency Operations Center.

California has more than 17,600 COVID-19 cases and has seen more than 450 deaths, according to data complied by Johns Hopkins University. Intensive care hospitalizations have been growing at a slower rate than experts had anticipated, leading Newsom to donate 500 ventilators to other states.

Likewise, Newsom said the state can’t rely on the federal government, which has sent the state about a million masks so far.

“That’s not an indictment, not a cheap shot. At the end of the day, they don’t have the masks at the national stockpile,” Newsom said.

California has more than 17,600 COVID-19 cases and has seen more than 450 deaths, according to data complied by Johns Hopkins University. Intensive care hospitalizations have been growing at a slower rate than experts had anticipated, leading Newsom to donate 500 ventilators to other states.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

DON'T MISS

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

DON'T MISS

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

DON'T MISS

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

DON'T MISS

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

DON'T MISS

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

DON'T MISS

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

DON'T MISS

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

DON'T MISS

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

DON'T MISS

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

DON'T MISS

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

UP NEXT

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

UP NEXT

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

UP NEXT

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

UP NEXT

Oakland Officials Vote to Include ‘San Francisco’ in Airport’s Name

UP NEXT

Several Writers Decline Recognition From PEN America in Protest Over Its Israel-Hamas War Stance

UP NEXT

US Consumer Sentiment Falls Slightly as Outlook for Inflation Worsens

UP NEXT

Tennessee Lawmakers Send Bill to Ban First-Cousin Marriages to Governor

UP NEXT

Instagram Blurs Nude Messages to Protect Teens, Fight Sexual Extortion

UP NEXT

Harvard Again Requiring Standardized Test Scores for Those Seeking Admission

UP NEXT

After Fong Ruling, a ‘Bitter Pill to Swallow’ for US Senate Losers Katie Porter & Barbara Lee?

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

1 day ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

1 day ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

1 day ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

1 day ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

2 days ago

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

2 days ago

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

2 days ago

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

2 days ago

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

2 days ago

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

2 days ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

Last June, more than half of California’s lawmakers — Republicans and Democrats alike, with no particular ideological preference — attended ...

6 hours ago

6 hours ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

6 hours ago

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

14 hours ago

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

1 day ago

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

1 day ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

1 day ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

1 day ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

2 days ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend