Apr 11, 2020 - Health

Pentagon announces $133 million for N95 masks

In this image, a pile of N95 masks and surgical masks are on a table

Respiratory masks. Photo: Pierre Teyssot/AGF/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Pentagon plans to award $133 million to companies to ramp up domestic production of more than 39 million N95 face masks, the Department of Defense announced Saturday.

Why it matters: The federal government began the process of deploying 90% of its stockpiled medical equipment this week to fight the coronavirus pandemic — which isn't enough to meet current state demands.

Details: The Pentagon expects the masks to be manufactured within the next 90 days, spokesperson Lt. Col. Mike Andrews said in the statement Saturday. The agency is working with companies through powers granted by the Defense Production Act (DPA).

  • Companies the Pentagon is working with to manufacture the masks have not yet been identified. The agency says it will name them "in the coming days when the contract is awarded."
  • The White House approved the Pentagon to execute its first DPA Title 3 project in response to COVID-19 on Friday evening.

Flashback: Health and Human Services announced its first contracts for ventilator production under the DPA on Wednesday, with initial shipments to the national stockpile expected by the end of May.

Go deeper: U.S. nearly empties medical supplies stockpile to fight coronavirus

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