Why hasn’t the US started importing masks from China, arguably the only country capable of relieving American mask shortage?

Chinese company sued for exporting masks to the U.S.

There is a small company in China with its own factory, which does not have much awareness of patent. Recently, it was sued by a U.S. company for patent infringement for a recent export of masks to America. The US company does not have capacity to manufacture masks, but it has patent on masks.

The American company stated that: “Give us a sum of money and we will withdraw the lawsuit.”

But the total sales of the goods are not even enough to cover the proposed settlement amount.

With this precedent, the number of companies willing to export masks to the United States would be even less. At the time of global pandemic, this would not help relieve the urgent needs for medical equipment in the United States.

But certain American companies care nothing about health of the Americans; they just want to make a buck.

The Chinese standard of masks- KN95 is basically equivalent to N95 (American standard), but different interpretations of two standards in different regions.

Even the US CDC has stated that effectiveness of the KN95 mask is the same as that of the N95, and it is one of the many “suitable alternatives” of N95 masks, which are “in short supply.” According to 3M, the world’s largest mask manufacturer, KN95 is “equivalent” to N95 masks and “can be expected to be very similar in function.”

On March 17, 2020, the US CDC announced a “Strategy for Optimizing the Supply of N95 Respirators: Crisis / Alternative Strategy”, which approved masks of the same level as N95 from other countries can be used in the United States. The list includes Brazil, South Korea, Japan, Australia , Europe, Mexico and China, a total of 7 countries and regions.

However, on March 28, the US FDA launched a new “Emergency-Use-Administration” (EUA), which states that respirator products from only 6 countries and regions can meet the US standards, and excluded China from the list.

On the other hand, in a news conference on March 31, President Trump discussed the potential needs of Americans to wear masks, and said Americans “can wear scarves” instead of masks.

You can use a scarf, a lot of people have scarves and you can use a scarf. A scarf would be very good.

When asked if he would recommend all Americans to wear masks, Trump said: “My feeling is if people want to do it there’s certainly no harm to it. I would say do it. Use a scarf if you want rather than going out and getting a mask.

This article was originally posted on Quora.

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