News and Commentary

Florida Official Accuses 3M Of Letting Foreign Countries Buy All Their Masks
Courtesy of Fox News

Speaking on Fox News with host Tucker Carlson Thursday night, a Florida official accused 3M of letting their distributors sell vitally-needed masks to foreign countries in such numbers that there were none left that his state could procure.

Jared Moskowitz from the Florida Division of Emergency Management told Carlson:

For the last several weeks we’ve had like a boiler room in our UFc, chasing down 3M authorized distributors, brokers, supposedly representing that they sell N95 masks, only to get the warehouses that are completely empty, being told that our shipments are on cargo planes and the flights don’t even appear on FlightAware.  We’re chasing ghosts, Tucker. And so I just decided to turn up the heat and tell people what is actually happening in the N95 mask space.

3M reached out to us today; their governor relations folks wanted to have a conversation. I thought that perhaps, maybe, what 3M would finally say to me is that they have masks to sell, but what I actually found out is even more frightening; it’s what we suspected, which is that the system is completely broken and the authorized distributors, who right now can’t tell me a timeline when I’m going to receive my masks, orders that I put in a month ago, and, by the way, the terms and conditions are I’ve got to pay for the masks and can’t cancel my order, is that 3M has lost total control.

And so what I asked 3M is that, are they aware that their authorized distributors, U.S. companies, are telling me that the reason why our orders are being pushed down is because foreign countries are showing up with cash to purchase the orders? And when I told 3M that, not only did they not dispute it, I asked them if they’d put out any guidance to prevent the behavior and the answer was no.

And so when I asked 3M what is your production —they said they’re making 10 million masks a week —and when I said, great, I have money, I’d like to purchase some of those, they said I couldn’t; that they have no masks to sell me.

He added, “This is not about the workers in the factories at 3M who are working 24 hours a day to try to create lifesaving PPE; this is about the executives who decided not to put America first, and it’s going to have devastating consequences.”

Carlson summarized, “You tried to get an answer; you’re in charge of procuring these for the first responders in Florida; you’re not some guy off the street; you’re a government official trying to help a state that is becoming one of the centers of the outbreak: Florida. And you basically got the run-around. So you went after 3M on Twitter and they responded… and you said, why can’t I get it? And they basically said we have no control; our dealers are selling some of these masks to foreign countries because they got there first or they’re paying cash, and you said, well, shouldn’t you tell your distributors to make a priority for America? For the states, or local governments, of first responders, physicians, nurses, EMTs, and they said, no, we haven’t done that. Is that a fair summary?”

Moskowitz answered:

Yeah, not only is that a fair summary, it’s exactly what’s happening. It’s why Governor DeSantis said the other day it’s shady as hell, because that’s exactly what it is. 3M is an ice cream store that doesn’t sell ice cream, apparently. Since when do we have a U.S. company that sells masks and I try to offer them money and they won’t sell them to me? That I have to go through their authorized distributors and their only excuse is that they don’t have a perfect system.

Well, that’s great that they don’t have a perfect system and that I’m relegated to making deals with brokers at costs that are ten and sometimes twenty times that actual costs of these masks, which, at the end of the day, Tucker, regardless of the costs at this point, getting the masks is the most important thing at the moment. We can’t even get them.

“The 3M authorized distributors are telling me this,” Moskowiz said later. “They’re specifically saying, listen I’m sorry that your order got pushed down, but there are folks showing up to the factories; there are folks showing up to us paying cash. And when I said, what do you mean, ‘There are folks?’ they said, well, listen, you know, here are foreign countries that do business differently; they’re showing up with cash.”

Video below:

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