Our journalists stumbled on news that 3M masks were going to the highest bidder and getting marked-up some 600%, but this message from President Trump confirms the “Mask Gate” nature of gouging in the world of Covid-19 procurement. We were told, ” China was paying cash for masks at factory distribution points “, and US Hospitals were not getting them.

This is no surprise, what surprised us was the markup and greed associated with the middlemen taking a cut. This is not over, whoever chose to get involved in this will be fully prosecuted in Mask Gate 2020.

 President Donald Trump slammed 3M Co in a tweet late on Thursday after earlier announcing he was invoking the Defense Production Act to get the company to produce face masks.

We hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their Masks. ‘P Act’ all the way.’ Big surprise to many in government as to what they were doing – will have a big price to pay!” Trump said on Twitter.

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At a White House briefing on the coronavirus pandemic earlier on Thursday, Trump announced he had signed a Defense Production Act order for 3M to produce face masks. “Hopefully they’ll be able to do what they are supposed to do,” he said, without elaborating.

St. Paul, Minnesota-based 3M did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company’s brands include Scotch, Post-It and Nexcare, as well as healthcare products for professionals.

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White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said at the briefing, “We’ve had some issues making sure that all of the production that 3M does around the world, enough of it is coming back here to the right places.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the president’s tweet.

N-95 face masks made by 3M and other companies are in short supply among healthcare workers treating coronavirus patients.

The Defense Production Act, which was passed in 1950, grants the president the power to expand industrial production of key materials or products for national security and other reasons.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to issue guidelines in the next few days that could tell Americans to wear face masks when leaving home.