US exports of masks and PPE to China surged in the first phase of the coronavirus


US exports of surgical masks, respirators and other personal protective equipment to China soared in January and February, when the coronavirus was wreaking havoc in the country where it started and as did US intelligence agencies l had warned that it would spread soon.

US companies sold more than $ 17.5 million in face masks, more than $ 13.6 million in surgical clothing, and more than $ 27.2 million in respirators in China in the first two months of the year. year, far surpassing any other similar period in the past decade, according to the most recent foreign trade data available from the US Census Bureau.

USA TODAY’s analysis of trade figures comes as health professionals on the front lines of the national crisis say they are forced to reuse or do without personal protective equipment such as surgical masks and face shields to compensate for a shortage. Some states are also striving to find fans to prepare for a crushing of patients who should need it.


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