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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A soaring Nasdaq is just one slice of the buy-anything market

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Nasdaq closed above 11,000 for the first time on Thursday, ending the session higher for the seventh time in a row and eighth session in nine. It has gained nearly 10% since July 1.

Why it matters: It's not just tech stocks that have rallied recently. Just about every asset class has jumped in the third quarter, including many that typically have negative or inverse correlations to each other.

Cleanup on aisle Biden

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

After two gaffes and a low blow from President Trump questioning his faith, Joe Biden spent Thursday evening off his own message — clarifying comments and responding to attacks.

Why it matters: Biden’s responses reflect what we could see a lot more of in the next few months — cringeworthy comments and Trump smears, smacking into each other and pulling the Democrat off course.

2020 election strategy: Hire all the lawyers

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus has sent overall U.S. unemployment into the double digits — but it's a sort of full-employment act for election law attorneys.

The big picture: The prospect of extended court fights over COVID-19-related voting changes, an absentee ballot avalanche, foreign interference and contested presidential results has prompted a hire-all-the-lawyers binge by candidates and campaigns — not just in swing states but around the country.