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Trump’s 500 Million Respirators Could Take 18 Months to Deliver

March 19, 2020, 1:39 PM

The 500 million N95 air-filtering respirator masks President Donald Trump said the federal government ordered could take up to 18 months to be delivered, according to the grant application.

There has been a shortage of the masks, and health-care workers are being told to reuse them.

The government is expecting the masks to be delivered incrementally, according to the application, but will allow those deliveries to occur over 18 months. Manufacturers in China aren’t able to fulfill the request.

Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar could direct companies to produce and distribute the masks under an executive order signed Wednesday, but Trump said it would be used for a “worst-case scenario” and hopefully wouldn’t be needed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shira Stein in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at; Andrew Childers at