Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles This is the 3M N95 mask. It's ubiquitous by now. There's another type of mass called an N95, or respirator mask. What I want to show you guys is these N95 respirators. The N95 masks that 3M is so crucial to production of our in turn so crucial to our health care workers. It usually costs around $1. It's one of the most essential pieces of equipment to keep health care workers safe while fighting the Corona virus by filtering out 95% of all airborne particles -- Hence the name N95. It's also an extremely short supply. Well as the Corona virus continues to spread, the demand for N95 respiratory masks around the world is also growing. The masks should be for the health care workers. The public should not be buying masks. But there are other masks besides the N95. This is the FFP2 to mask from Europe. It keeps out 94 percent of airborne particles. This is the K995 mask from Asia. It keeps out 95 percent of airborne particles. Yet the U.S. can not import any of these during the crisis. We 're really trying to dig into the exactly why this is happening on it on a daily basis, but it looks, for now like the government simply did not have enough of these things on hand to respond immediately. The federal government reportedly had 12 million masks in its stockpile. The U.S. will reportedly need 3.5 billion masks during this pandemic. There's a myriad of reasons why we have insufficient stockpiles. The role of government is to plan for crises, to stockpile masks so that if we ever have a pandemic, we have enough masks on hand. And it looks like the government didn't do its part of the job there. And we do have a federal agency and the CDC that has been systematically underfunded. We haven't received the right pieces that haven't invested in stockpiles over the years Because of the short supply black markets have popped up overnight where prices for the N95 have more than quintupled. An investigation into hundreds of thousands of medical grade masks that were just sold at auction. 43-year-old Baruch Feldheim is accused of selling a thousand N95 masks to a doctor at a 700 percent markup. If you go to Craigslist, you can find N95 masks going for hundreds of dollars. States are also all in a bidding war with one another to procure these masks at inflated prices. If you have the capacity to make these products, we will purchase them and we will pay a premium. But the federal government says that they are not at fault for the shortage. The notion of the federal stockpile, was it to be our stockpile? It's not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use. So we're encouraging the states to make sure that they're assessing the needs. They're getting the data from their local, local situations and then trying to fill it with the supplies that we've given them. So what the government stockpile not being the answer. Other avenues needed to be explored to fulfill the spike in demand. Just one problem. We have our own Food and Drug Administration. We have our own regulatory bodies. We have our own standards. And we tend to gravitate towards importing things that we know and that we're comfortable with. And that's where the N95 mask comes in. But also, remember, this isn't just stockpiles from a federal stockpile, our point of view, but also the broader supply chain. 3M produces a large amount of respirator masks, but they aren't the only ones. There are 50 percent of face masks are produced in China, for example, and there are big suppliers that exist globaly. And remember those alternative masks we were talking about in the beginning? Country equivalent standards do not fly in America because they're not approved by the FDA or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health despite being equivalent masks. But these standards are also and this is something we're seeing here again in this crisis can be a barrier to trade and can be a barrier to getting supplies into the right into right places. The masks that are currently produced in China are right now not approved for export or import in the United States as a class one medical device, which puts a restriction on the amount of supply. So without a sufficient stockpile and options limited overseas, America has to look inward. The federal government is calling on the private sector to help fill the need of medical supplies. Honeywell will be the latest company to pivot and prioritize public health by producing N95 masks at its facility here in Phenix. New Balance says many of its U.S. factories, including one in Lawrence, are now producing face masks for hospitals. We're seeing automakers start to get into the business of making ventilators. We're seeing distillers started to make hand sanitizer. There's a huge ramping up of industrial America that is happening. But as we saw during the Second World War and in previous wars. But with the first shipment of masks from China landing in New York in early April and Trump enacting the Defense Production Act to manufacture more masks and respirators domestically, millions of masks are being made available. But it's not enough. The solutions that we need and one of the key lessons that I hope we also get out of this in order to be able to diversify our supply chains, to make sure that we've got sufficient inventory, it requires us to take a global view and then a global piece so that we can move product and move support from one region that is being impacted today to another that's going forward. We're again at one of those moments where when you respond to a global crisis like COVID- 19, the answer is taking care of things at home, but also of learning from your neighbors.