In a new plan announced Monday, 3M and the Trump administration will import 166.5 million additional N95 respirators to support healthcare workers.
The imports will occur over the next three months. The Minnesota-based manufacturer also says it’s working with the federal government to stop the price gouging and counterfeit products.
“Given the reality that demand for respirators outpaces supply, we are working around the clock to further expand our capacity, while prioritizing and redirecting our supplies to serve the most critical areas,” 3M CEO Mike Roman said in a news release. “We’ll continue to do all we can to protect our heroic healthcare workers and first responders.”
The high demand for masks has created a shortage of the signature 3M masks, and in January, the company started to increase its production of the respirators. It has now doubled its global output to 1.1 billion a year, and expects to be producing 50 million a month by June.
“We share the same goals of providing much-needed respirators to Americans across our country and combating criminals who seek to take advantage of the current crisis,” Roman said.
The masks will be imported primarily from 3M’s manufacturing plant in China, and the federal government is working on clearing the regulatory restrictions to allow this to happen.
“As the pandemic unfolds in different stages around the world, 3M will continue to work with governments to direct respirators and other supplies to serve areas most in need,” the company stated in the release.