SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that California has secured a monthly supply of 200 million N95 respiratory and surgical masks to help protect health care workers and other essential personnel at the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
“We decided enough’s enough. Let’s use the power, the purchasing power of the state of California, as a nation-state,” Newsom told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. “We did just that. And in the next few weeks, 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.”
The masks are among the most coveted supplies needed in hospitals and medical facilities that are treating people infected with the coronavirus amid a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment for health care workers. They will come from a consortium of suppliers, including a California nonprofit, a California manufacturer with suppliers in Asia and from a company sterilizing used masks, according to Nathan Click, the governor’s spokesman.
The identities of those suppliers were not available Tuesday night, nor were details about the number of masks each would be supplying to the state. The Newsom administration did not disclose the state’s cost for acquiring the monthly supply of 200 million masks.