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

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
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Reproduced from a Brookings Institution report; Chart: Axios Visuals

A just-published Brookings Institution analysis of U.S. cities' pledges to cut carbon emissions reveals very mixed results.

Why it matters: The potential — and limits — of city and state initiatives have gotten more attention amid President Trump's scuttling of Obama-era national policies.

New state unemployment filings fall to 787,000

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

First-time applications for unemployment fell last week, according to Department of Labor data released on Thursday.

Between the lines: The overall number of Americans relying on unemployment also fell to a still-staggering 23 million. But there are continued signs of labor market strain, with more people shifting to an unemployment program designed for the long-term jobless.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: Many U.S. deaths were avoidable — The pandemic is getting worse again.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.