The Trump Administration has asked the construction industry to donate masks to medical workers. 

Vice President Mike Pence said in a White House news conference, “We would make one specific request, and that is we would urge construction companies to donate their inventory of N95 masks to your local hospital and forgo additional orders of those industrial masks. Because of what the president asked to be included in legislation moving through the Congress today, those industrial masks that they use on construction sites are perfectly acceptable for health care workers to be protected from a respiratory disease.”

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He continued, “We are asking construction companies that our president knows very well from his background. We are asking them to donate their N95 masks to their local hospitals and also forgo making additional orders.”

Medical workers across the country are facing shortages of N95 face masks. These masks prevent healthy workers in contact with coronavirus patients from getting sick and prevents those who are sick from spreading the virus. The N95 masks help block 95% of microbes. The White House, for this reason, holds these masks to be “perfectly acceptable” for health care workers. 

Currently, the U.S. has about 160,000 ventilators. According to a study conducted by the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins, a “severe” pandemic like the Spanish Flu of 1918 would require about 740,000 ventilators nationwide.

This is all in an effort to what experts call “flattening the curve,” or taking preventive measures to spread out the amount of coronavirus cases so as to not overwhelm the country’s healthcare system.