While in the United States, there remains a debate on whether or not wearing an N95 mask is essential, the opposite is true in Canada. For the Canadians, they are willing to spend even millions of dollars to have their N95 mask supply continuously imported into the country. If not, the Canadian government is willing to shell out more funds for domestic N95 mask development.
Previously, the USA government has been under scrutiny as President Donald Trump placed the Defense Protection Act in place. What is more alarming is when Trump ordered the ceasing of 3M N95 masks importation. The best products like the 3M 8511, 3M 8210, and 1860 N95 mask are to be supplied for the country only.
Meanwhile, 3M has long been a major supplier of medical and surgical PPE for Canada and Latin America. Trump’s previous move to stop N95 mask exportation was set to put Canadians at risk of escalating their COVID-19 cases. Furthermore, Canada is already expecting an increase in COVID-19 cases. The lack of an N95 mask supply is expected to worsen the country’s problem.
N95 Mask Problem Worsens in Canada
In Canada, the demand for n95 masks and n95 respirators, be it reusable or disposable face mask far exceeds the demand for face shields or kn95 masks. The country is willing to buy the U.S. made antiviral protection in every size, in bulk orders at wholesale prices for the benefit of their healthcare system. The country simply cannot do without the virus protection of the N95 mask that has many uses like the ability to filter out flu causing viral particles in dust, smoke, and air.
Currently, Canada is relying on the N95 mask supply coming from America. Canada believes in the efficiency of the N95 mask that it will go through all means to continue the N95 mask supply in the country. As such, peace talks between the U.S. and Canadian government, as well as the N95 mask manufacturer 3M had to be done.
In Ontario, Canada alone, healthcare officials have projected that an increase of 80,000 COVID-19 cases can be expected. This, if the N95 mask supply is guaranteed. Without the current public health measures, including the use of the N95 mask, more coronavirus cases can be expected.
Trump Demands to Keep N95 Mask Supply Exclusive to the US
Trump took to Twitter his demand for an increase in N95 mask production by the company 3M. Furthermore, the Trump administration exercised “any and all authority” to stop N95 mask exportation, saying that the N95 mask supply should not be given to other people. Trump ordered that there will be a big price to pay, even retaliation or tough measures if the N95 mask manufacturer failed to comply.
However, Canada, a country that heavily relies on the U.S. company 3M for the N95 mask supply will be compromised even as their N95 mask supply is already at a dangerous low. Nearly 3 million N95 masks in stock were threatened not to be exported to Canada. In Ontario, where coronavirus cases are high, the N95 mask supply threat stirred fear that N95 mask supplies will run out and healthcare workers will have to battle the virus without N95 masks.
Canada became desperate as no sustainable N95 mask supply can be had as soon as possible. However, the Canadian officials decided on making sure the country can be self-reliant with their N95 mask supply in the near future so as not to rely on any other company abroad, or country, for the health and safety of their people in times of a pandemic.
The N95 mask manufacturer warned the Trump administration, initially resisting the executive order. 3M voiced out their concern that “significant humanitarian complications” would result from attempting to stop N95 mask exportation to countries whose healthcare systems are expected to suffer without the N95 mask supply during this time of the pandemic. Further, the N95 mask dilemma was set to do some serious damage to the relationship between Canada and the United States.
Canada Supplies Frontliners and Medical-Grade Equipment
The Canadian government did not resort to retaliation during the N95 mask debacle and instead relied on diplomatic measures. The Trump administration had to be reminded that healthcare workers from Canada have been helping out the U.S. healthcare system in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, Canada is also the primary supplier of materials used to construct specialized equipment in the U.S. These may include medical-grade fabric.
N95 Mask Exportation to Canada, To Continue
After the peace talks between both countries and the N95 mask manufacturer 3M, a compromised solution was put into place. Over 100 million China-imported N95 mask supply will be coming into the U.S. over the next three months. In the process, 3M continues to produce 35 million N95 mask supply for the U.S.
Meanwhile, the N95 mask manufacturer can continue N95 mask exportation to other countries, including Canada. 3M has long been the primary source of N95 mask supply in Canada as well as in Latin America, so negotiations had to be in order to keep the countries well supplied with their N95 mask needs.
Canada, To Produce N95 Mask Locally
The Canadian company AMD Medicom Inc is expected to be an N95 mask manufacturer for Canada moving forward. As much as 50 million N95 masks and surgical masks are to be supplied to the federal government. Moreover, an N96 mask is reportedly in development.However, N95 mask domestic production in Canada remains to be in the early stages. Currently, around 60 million N95 mask supply is expected to be imported from other countries. Over half of the N95 mask supply is expected to come from an American company. The federal government had to step in to ensure N95 mask supply shortages are managed.