Illinois Gov. Says Trump Admin. Sent Surgical Masks Instead Of Requested Specialized Masks

President Donald Trump listens to questions during a briefing on the latest development of the coronavirus outbreak in the press briefing room at the White House on March 20, 2020. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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March 31, 2020 8:02 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s administration sent only surgical masks to Illinois instead of the specialized N95 masks Gov. Illinois J.B. Pritzker (D) had requested to protect hospital workers from COVID-19, according to the governor.

“I can say with certainty that what they sent were not the N95 masks that were promised, but were surgical masks, which were not what we asked for,” Pritzker told reporters on Monday during a daily press conference. “In our first request to the federal government, we asked for 1.2 million N95 masks.”

He added that Illinois only got a “fraction” of what it asked for “weeks and weeks.

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the loose-fitting surgical masks do little to protect users from the airborne coronavirus, whereas the tight-fitting N95 reduces risk of exposure by filtering out 95% of particles in the air.

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