California Gov. Gavin Newsom has secured production that will provide over 200 million medical-grade masks per month to the state despite a shortage nationwide.
“We’ve been competing against other states, against other nations, against our own federal government for PPE — coverall, masks, shields, N95 masks — we’re not waiting around any longer and we’re no longer interested in the progress seen in the past,” Newsom said in a MSNBC interview.
“In the last 24 hours, we have secured, through a consortia of nonprofits and a manufacturer here in the state of California, upwards of 200 million masks on a monthly basis that we’re confident can supply the needs of the state of California and potentially the needs of the western states.”
On Tuesday, Newsom signed an executive order suspending sales tax on “masks, gloves, eye protection, gowns and other materials that protect public health … sold to or purchased by the state.”
This announcement comes as the release of a CNN poll reports that the majority of Americans — 55% — say the federal government has done poorly in preventing the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. Respondents feel that President Trump could be doing more to fight the outbreak.
“We decided enough is enough: let’s use the power of the purchasing power of the state of California as a nation-state,” Newsom said.
California has the greatest manufacturing capacity of all U.S. states, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. Over 35,000 companies generated $316 billion in revenue during 2018. In a state budget release, Newsom announced plans to spend $990 million in state funds on protective gear.
Chelsea Pan is a 2019-2020 City News Editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.