Americas, Europe

US buys out France-bound Chinese masks right off tarmac

With stockpiles waning amid COVID-19 outbreak, US pays a Chinese firm in cash for face masks en route to France

Cindi Cook   | 02.04.2020
US buys out France-bound Chinese masks right off tarmac file photo


The U.S. has bought out a large shipment of Chinese-made face masks originally bound for France right before they were shipped off from airports in China, according to French government officials.

"A regional president explained to us that his order for masks had been bitten at the airport itself by the Americans, who paid three times the price, in cash. It is pretty incredible," Renaud Muselier, the president of the Provences-Alpes-Cotes d'Azur region, told an interview with BFMTV.

Jean Rottner, the president of the Grand-Est region and an emergency room doctor also has said that the Chinese-made masks had been purchased for two or three times more.

He blamed the U.S. intervention for the mask shortage his region had to face.

"Indeed, on the tarmac, the Americans take out the cash for orders we have placed," he has said.

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