News & Politics

3M Busted for Shipping N95 Masks to Foreign Countries While American States Go Without

Medical staff in protective gear administer a test for COVID-19 at a drive-through testing center in Paramus, N.J., Friday, March 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A Florida official, Jared Moskowitz, has accused 3M of selling N95 masks for cash to foreign governments while U.S. states need them. His explosive interview on Tucker Carlson set off a chain of events that led to the president invoking the Defense Production Act against 3M and the hashtag #3MTraitor trending on Twitter.

“I can’t, and other emergency management directors can’t get this life-saving PPE because a company decided to make a globalist decision and not put America first,” said Moskowitz. The emergency manager contends that his office has been chasing down 3M distributors for orders only to find empty warehouses or be told that their shipment is on a plane that doesn’t appear on any manifest. “We’re chasing ghosts here, Tucker.”

Moskowitz said he paid for his orders and cannot get a refund but the orders never materialize and 3M distributors told him that the reason is that foreign agents keep showing up with cash and taking the orders. When Moskowitz finally got to speak to 3M corporate, he says they didn’t deny it and also revealed they have no internal guidelines to keep foreign sales from happening.

3M CEO Mike Roman denies the allegations but has not specifically addressed the mask issue, choosing instead to go on CNBC and talk about respirators. During this interview, he does not address the charges from Moskowitz specifically but generally denies that his company has done anything wrong.

But despite these protestations, a shipment of 3M N95 masks bound for Germany was intercepted in Thailand and sent back to the United States. This appears to back up the charges that 3M was in fact shipping masks overseas before fulfilling its American orders. Business Insider had the story. 

The president has asked 3M to stop sending masks to other countries until our states have received the supplies they need. Roman says that strategy puts other countries at risk. One wonders why he doesn’t seem to feel as strongly about the people struggling in his own country, whose orders from 3M go repeatedly unfilled.

Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo,” and host of The Fringe podcast. Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter