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The current time is Thu Jun 04 22:15:46 2020

Utopia Talk / Politics / USA hijacks face masks
Thu Apr 02 13:37:19
Face masks from China intended for France 'hijacked' by US at the last minute

Coronavirus masks that France ordered from China were bought at the last minute by the United States as they waited to be loaded onto cargo planes, French officials have said.

"Americans pay three or four times the amount we pay, and in cash," said Jean Rottner, head of France's eastern region, one of the areas worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak, according to reports by France Info.

On Thursday, a planeload of Chinese-made face masks were bought up right on the tarmac just as the much needed protective gear was about to set off for France.

"We're working around the clock to ensure these masks arrive," says Rottner, blaming unfair competition for delays.

The United States, which now has the highest number of known cases of coronavirus in the world, is trying to procure any masks available, disrupting deliveries to other nations, another report by French daily Liberation indicated.

The east of France nonetheless received 2 million masks from China on Wednesday, to the delight of its president.

"I was very happy to see that airplane arriving in our region last night," Rottner said.

France has ordered more than one billion face masks, a quarter from China, as it battles the pandemic and currently has less than three weeks worth of supplies.

Mask shortage cover up

At the end of last month, French President Emmanuel Macron insisted the country needed to regain its "independence" in producing vital medical equipment, without relying excessively on imports.

Macron hopes to rebuild "national sovereignty" by the end of 2020. However, according to reports by French online investigative website Mediapart, the government knew about dwindling medical stocks as early as January.

The health ministry, aware of the limited supplies, decided to order only a small amount of masks, despite internal warnings, writes Mediapart.

The news site says the government knowingly covered up the shortage of masks for over two months, changing its health advice accordingly. Initially, the director of health insisted any person in contact with a coronavirus patient wear a mask, but as stocks began to dwindle, he made a U-turn and insisted it was no longer necessary.

The limited supplies have left health officials and those at the frontline of the crisis exposed. All eyes will be on government policy when the lockdown period comes to an end. Deputy economy minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher has admitted that the state will have to "massively equip the population," according to Mediapart.

Intense struggle

In the meantime, lower-level officials are following in Rottner's footsteps and taking the matter into their own hands. The head of the south-eastern Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region Renaud Muselier told RT France that he ordered around 60 million masks but has also experienced delivery problems.

To ensure the delivery of 4 million masks by this Saturday, Muselier has opted for a different route, passing by the sea instead. "At least that way, I can be sure that no one will steal my masks from the tarmac," he said.

The United States, like France, has come under criticism for its lack of preparedness in dealing with Covid-19. However, its covert efforts to make up the shortfall of masks is also being called into question.

Logistically speaking, taking different routes is "an intense struggle," said Muselier.


How can they do this? France already bought them and they were loaded onto a plane heading for France. This is piracy. Thievery.
Thu Apr 02 13:46:46
Thievery? Doesnt ypur article. say that we paid for it?

If Trump says

" hey China company, I need masks"

CC" we sold them already, you have to wait"

Trump " I need them now, I'll pay 4 times the price your asking, but I need them now or I'll go elsewhere"

CC " ok, sold"

What's wrong with that? Blame China for backing out of the deal, hate the game not the player you cheap bastards.
Thu Apr 02 22:29:38
"A senior US official on Thursday rejected allegations from French politicians that Americans have been snapping up Chinese masks previously ordered by France during the coronavirus crisis, calling the stories "completely false."

The leader of the Ile-de-France region, which includes Paris, accused unidentified Americans of swooping in with cash at the last minute to secure shipments already promised to French buyers.

"We lost an order to the Americans who outbid us on a shipment that we had lined up," said Valerie Pecresse, the chief of France's most populous region.

Pecresse claimed that while France pays on delivery for such supplies -- crucial in the global fight against the pandemic -- "Americans pay cash" without bothering to see the goods.

They "are just looking to do business on the back of the whole world's distress," she told LCI television.

In Washington, a senior administration official told AFP "the United States government has not purchased any masks intended for delivery from China to France."

We have this story and we have the one earlier posted about the guy selling masks at a 700% mark-up. Sounds like private citizens trying to profit from the outbreak.
Fri Apr 03 01:12:00
Those regular face masks doesn’t even help to protect you. Doctors use them to prevent saliva from dropping into a patient during an operation, for an example.

If you are already infected with Corona, it may help if you wear a face mask so that your coughing and saliva won’t land on someone else. But those face masks gets moisty when you have breathed on it for a while, so you must like change it every hour or so.

What you need is a so called breathing mask with a FFP3 protection class. Those will help you from not being infected with Corona while you are around other people.
sam adams
Fri Apr 03 06:36:08
Fri Apr 03 14:23:26
One doctor suggested wearing a face mask is a good idea because it keeps you aware about not touching your face. Other than that he said they are not doing much.
Fri Apr 03 15:09:10
I wonder if wearing a burka helps.
sam adams
Fri Apr 03 15:09:40
Apperently the mask doesnt do much for the healthy avoiding aerosol viruses that are already in the air, but it does cut down on aerosols leaving the mouths of the sick?
Fri Apr 03 15:20:25
” but it does cut down on aerosols leaving the mouths of the sick”

Yes. I guess it doesn’t hurt if everyone was wearing a face mask, as long as people are aware of that by wearing one doesn’t make you immune. You need one of those breathing masks with a filter on it to have a good protection.
Fri Apr 03 17:20:41
Para, I actually havw those masks. I feelnlikeni can still get it through contact just as easily though. Idk , I just dont leave the property.

Luckily im not in the city ATM so I can move around.
Wrath of Orion
Fri Apr 03 20:04:00
"Apperently the mask doesnt do much for the healthy avoiding aerosol viruses that are already in the air, but it does cut down on aerosols leaving the mouths of the sick?"

This is pretty much it exactly. The idea of everyone wearing is a face mask (or face covering of some kind) is to limit that amount of aerosol droplets you expel.

If this was like influenza, where you may only be contagious for a very short time before the symptoms hit you, it wouldn't help. But considering you can be infectious for days, or even more than a week, before symptoms appear, this measure has a realistic chance of helping.

Also don't forget that many people actually have the virus and never know because they either remain asymptomatic the entire time or the symptoms are so light they mistake them or something like a cold or allergies. Everyone wearing a masks helps there, too.

In short, it's about protecting others from asymptomatic carriers.
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