Earlier this week, President Trump enacted the Defense Production Act to enhance the domestic production of N95 masks for medical professionals amidst a shortage driven by the Corona Virus Pandemic.
The executive order directed 3M, who also manufacturers Post-It Notes, to manufacture more of these masks.
Last evening, Fox News host Tucker Carlson had Jared Moskowitz, the Director of Emergency Management for Florida, on his show.
On the show, Moskowitz revealed that he has tried to purchase masks from 3M multiple times, but they won’t sell them to him despite them fulfilling orders for foreign governments.
This understandably has President Trump peeved. Last evening, Trump unleashed his fury, in a tweet, “We hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their Masks. “P Act” all the way. Big surprise to many in government as to what they were doing – will have a big price to pay!”
We hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their Masks. “P Act” all the way. Big surprise to many in government as to what they were doing – will have a big price to pay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 3, 2020
Whatever price that is has yet to be seen, but it has 3M scrambling. By 9:30 AM Thursday morning, 3M’s CEO Mike Roman has already been on the defense giving media interviews to the likes of CNBC.
Roman told CNBC that they are doing everything they can to fight price gouging on the existing supply of N95 masks and that he’s proud of everything his employees have done to step up.
In a separate interview, Roman explained “[t]he demand we have exceeds our production capacity.”
3M has doubled its mask production since the beginning of the year, but it’s suggested the United States needs over 3.5 billion masks. One company will not be able to meet that demand alone.