Margaret L. Munson; The mask fiasco |

Margaret L. Munson; The mask fiasco

In response to Anne Lohmann’s thoughtful Other Voices column, it is interesting to note that there is an American medical equipment supplier, Prestige Ameritech, whose owner, Michael Bowen, contacted the Trump Administration on Jan. 22 to advise that his company could produce 1.7 million N-95 masks a week and that the federal government would be given the first chance to purchase these vital pieces of equipment.

The government did not accept his offer.

In March, a company with “no history of procuring medical equipment” was awarded a $55 million contract to provide masks for $5.50 each. This fee was “eight times higher what the government was paying months earlier.” “On April 7th, Prestige did receive a $9.5 million contract to provide a million masks monthly for one year and Prestige is charging the government 79 cents for each mask.” The quotes are from The Washington Post of May 9.

Had Mr. Bowen’s generous offer been accepted in January, thousands of lives, including first line personnel, could have been saved.

Margaret L. Munson, MSW

Penn Valley

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