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California secures millions of masks to distribute allowing state to move into next phase


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – California now has tens of millions of masks state leaders say they’re working to distribute.

The governor now says he’s ready to reveal the secret contracts for those masks with a Chinese company.

Governor Gavin Newsom says California is now in possession of nearly 20 million surgical masks which he says is allowing the state to move into its next phase sooner.

Newsom said Wednesday the state is in the process of distributing the masks, they’re a part of a $1 billion deal Newsom’s administration made to secure personal protective equipment for California.

“We’ve never been in this position, we are the beneficiaries of these larger contracts and security in our supply chain,” Newsom said. 

The Governor first announced the contracts last month, saying they’d bring about 200,000 units of personal protective equipment to the state.

“We just want to make sure we deliver ultimately on the needs of so many whose lives are at risk,” Newsom said.

The governor says California now faces an obstacle and delay with N95 masks, requiring federal certification to bring them into the state.

Newsom’s administration has kept contract details with Chinese manufacturer BYD for the N95 and surgical masks under wraps citing numerous reasons, including security.

Lawmakers and critics have scrutinized the secrecy, Newsom Wednesday promising to make them public soon.

“I’m guilty of wanting to deliver, to get this done, to save lives, and at the same time to be as transparent as I can be to you because you deserve it, so you’ll get that. I hope it doesn’t affect the contract, I pray it doesn’t,” Newsom said.

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