We are in the midst of a pandemic that requires an endless supply of masks and ventilators to treat patients with. Bidding wars have commenced as countries try to get all of the resources they need to treat their people. 3M was one of the biggest manufacturers of masks and ventilators but since they are an American company, President Donald Trump has ordered them to stop sending masks and ventilators to Canada and Latin America. It just so happens that Trump doesn’t want them to send stuff to Europe either.
According to the Financial Times, a shipment of 200,000 masks was on its way from Thailand to Berlin, Germany when it was diverted to the United States. Andreas Geisel, Berlin’s interior minister, was livid about the news and said that it was “an act of modern piracy.”
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Trump has been quite critical of the fact 3M has been producing gear for other countries and the company is quite shocked by the president’s words and actions. The company says there are some big humanitarian ramifications when it comes to cutting off the supply of medical equipment to other countries and that places like Canada, who help supply the US, could very well cease exports as retaliation.
Needless to say, this isn’t the situation anyone wants to be in as we all try to battle this pandemic and defeat it, once and for all.