DHS to hold up export of N95 masks, other medical equipment

Homeland Security said Wednesday it will begin halting export shipments of N95 respirators, surgical masks, gloves and other key medical equipment that would otherwise have gone to other countries. Customs and Border Protection said it will detain any shipments at the ports and give the Federal Emergency Management Agency a chance to OK or reject the export, based on U.S. needs amid the coronavirus crisis. Depending on what FEMA decides, the government may order the shipment be returned to the U.S., decide to purchase it outright, or allow it to be exported. “FEMA and CBP are working together to prevent domestic brokers, distributors, and other intermediaries from diverting these critical medical resources overseas,” CBP said in a statement. The agencies said they are operating under President Trump’s decision Friday to trigger the Defense Production Act to keep key medical equipment here. Mr. Trump has been deeply critical of companies with operations in the U.S. that still do business with other countries and have earmarked shipments elsewhere, even as they’re still supplying the U.S. The president says they must prioritize American needs.

And we agree wholeheartedly!

WH trade adviser slams 3M for ‘acting like a sovereign nation’: ‘Stop whining’ and make masks for Americans

White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro accused U.S. manufacturing conglomerate 3M Friday of “whining” about criticism from President Trump over its distribution of N95 masks amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Let me just say that 3M needs to stop whining and just produce masks and get them to the American people,” Navarro told “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “I’ve been dealing with hundreds of CEOs on the front lines here [of] President Trump’s war against the virus,” Navarro added, “and 3M has been doing nothing but dissembling, he can’t get any data out of them.” Minnesota-based 3M has come under fire for exporting U.S.-made masks and other protective equipement to Canada and Latin America. On Thursday, President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to order 3M to prioritize orders of N95 masks for the federal government’s national stockpile. “We’re not happy with 3M, we’re not happy and the people that dealt with it directly are not at all happy with 3M,” Trump said during the White House coronavirus task force briefing earlier Friday. 3M CEO Mike Roman told Fox Business Network’s “Maria Bartiromo’s Wall Street” Friday that the company sells its respirators “through authorized distributors and we sell directly to governments and the distributors take those to customers that have the greatest needs and we’ve been working with FEMA in the U.S. to make sure we are prioritizing those with the greatest need … A small percentage, less than 10 percent of our respirators in the United States are exported to Canada and Latin America to support their health care workers. We are often the sole provider of those respirators in those countries.” “As we’ve been telling the administration for days and days,” Roman added, “We’re happy to ship our overseas production to the U.S. However, there are consequences on a humanitarian level and that includes stopping exports to Canada and Latin America.” Navarro accused 3M of “acting like a sovereign nation” and said the company’s public relations department “thinks it’s the State Department.” He said that U.S. companies will and should continue to export goods, but added that 3M brass have to stop “whining and spinning” and work on behalf of the American people. “We don’t have the hours, much less the minutes to deal with them,” said Navarro, in response to which host Tucker Carlson remarked endearingly that the trade adviser continues to be “the most blatant public official in government.”

Peter Navarro is a no-nonsense kinda guy, and we appreciate his candor.  I saw 3M’s CEO respond to questions that weren’t even asked in that interview…and how he kinda danced around questions.  So, I can understand Peter’s frustration.  3M definitely needs to step up to the plate and support the crisis HERE, in America, like so many other companies are doing.  OUR hospitals, doctors, nurses, and other caregivers are in desperate need of those N95 masks, and while other countries are having their issues to be sure, 3M needs to support the efforts here for now.  They are a globalist company, and it’s that globalist mentality that has gotten us into the mess we’re in now with respect to the supply chain, pharma-dependency on China, and so on.

Ford says it’s ramping up production to combat coronavirus: ‘We’re going like hell’ on masks, ventilators

As the private sector is getting involved in combatting the coronavirus outbreak, Ford Motor Company executive chairman Bill Ford said on Tuesday that the automobile company is working with General Electric and 3M to “gear up production” on essential medical equipment. “We are going like hell, yes we are,” Ford told “Fox & Friends.” Ford said that his company is collaborating with 3M in making “air-purifying respirators, face shields, and 3-D printing N95 respirator masks.” “We got four different work streams going and we’re going as fast as we can,” Ford said. Meanwhile, GM, Ventec Life Systems and StopTheSpread.org, coordinated private-sector response to COVID-19, are collaborating so that Ventec can increase its production of respiratory care products as hospitals across the U.S. face a potential ventilator shortage. 3M has doubled its production of N95 respirator masks since the coronavirus outbreak to a rate of nearly 100 million a month, Street Insider reported. Ford said that the medical equipment will be ready “soon.” “We’re testing face shields this week in Detroit-area hospitals to make sure they work and then we can ramp up pretty quickly,” Ford said. Ford said that his company is trying to “dramatically increase” the production of N95 respirators. “We’d like to do it by a factor of six to 10 times of what they’re already doing.” Ford went on to say, “And on the ventilator with GE, we’re helping them prototype, we’re using our engineers and manufacturing people and then as soon as we get that right, we’re going to go like crazy.”

This partnership between the Trump Administration and private sector is really working well.  Major kudos to Bill Ford and his company for stepping up.  As a Ford Mustang GT (my third, lol) driver, I’m proud of what Ford is doing to support the fight against this virus.  Excellent!!    🙂

3M to Produce 35,000,000 Respirator Masks a Month in U.S.

Multinational corporation 3M will manufacture 35 million much-needed respirator masks in the United States every month for Americans to help President Donald Trump’s administration fight the coronavirus. In the midst of the Wuhan, China-originated coronavirus crisis, 3M CEO Mike Roman announced that they will be manufacturing about 35 million N95 respirator masks a month — 90 percent of which will go to American healthcare workers who are in desperate need of medical supplies. “Since the initial COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve ramped up to maximum production levels of N95 respirator masks and doubled our global output to a rate of more than 1.1 billion per year, or nearly 100 million per month,” Roman said in a statement. “In the United States we are producing 35 million respirator masks per month; of these, more than 90% are now designated for healthcare workers, with the remaining deployed to other industries also critical in this pandemic, including energy, food and pharmaceutical companies.” Roman said more than half a million respirator masks are currently being delivered from the company’s South Dakota-based plant to highly affected cities like New York City and Seattle, Washington. The respirator masks are expected to arrive on March 23. “We are also ready to expedite additional shipments across the country,” Roman said. Roman thanked the Trump administration for expanding the PREP Act, which allows all N95 disposable respirator masks to be used in healthcare environments and has helped increase 3M’s distribution of the respirator masks to American healthcare workers. “We call for additional legislation to ensure all critically needed reusable respirator masks are equally available, which will help conserve the supply of N95s,” Roman requested. As Breitbart News noted, Trump’s administration is working closely with manufacturers based in the U.S. to greatly increase domestic production of supplies, equipment, and products that Americans need amid the coronavirus crisis. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is in talks with General Motors (GM) and Ford to potentially have the automakers retool their American factories to produce ventilators and other medical necessities. Navarro said he is also working with alcohol manufacturer Pernod Ricard to produce hand sanitizer in the U.S. free of charge to the federal government.

This partnership that President Trump and his administration are forging with companies in the private sector is really paying BIG dividends.  Nowhere else on plant earth are we seeing anything like this, and nowhere else can we.  Government is inherently bureaucratic, inefficient and ineffective.  By contrast, our capitalistic system of free enterprise is far more flexible and moves much quicker, and with greater efficiency.  Major kudos to 3M for stepping up like this!  Excellent!!      🙂