Actor Gary Sinise has a stellar record when it comes to looking out for veterans. So much so that his name is almost synonymous with the care of those who’ve served their nation.
In the face of the pandemic brought on by the Chinese virus COVID-19, Sinise took advantage of the platform his advocacy has provided to stand up for Americans as a whole on Friday, appealing directly to manufacturing giant 3M, one of the largest suppliers of desperately needed N95 respiratory masks.
“Florida emergency management official says 3M selling masks to foreign countries,” Sinise said in a tweet. “I usually don’t post on things like this, but Hey 3M! This is infuriating! American companies need to be part of the solution. What happened to, ‘We’re all in this together’?”
Florida emergency management official says 3M selling masks to foreign countries.
I usually don’t post on things like this, but Hey 3M! This is infuriating! American companies need to be part of the solution. What happened to, “We’re all in this together”? https://t.co/dnwRtHQvA2
— Gary Sinise (@GarySinise) April 3, 2020
Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz appeared on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” last week and claimed 3M has been selling N95 masks to foreign nations for bigger cash profits.
On Thursday, the Trump administration invoked the Defense Production Act, which compels 3M to prioritize orders for N95 respirator masks for the U.S. government’s national stockpile.
The national stockpile was depleted in 2009 under the Obama administration and never replenished.
3M responded to say it “will continue to maximize the amount of respirators we can produce on behalf of U.S. healthcare workers, as we have every single day since this crisis began.
At the same time, the company pushed back on a White House request that it cease exporting respirators to Canada and Latin America.
“There are, however, significant humanitarian implications of ceasing respirator supplies to healthcare workers in Canada and Latin America, where we are a critical supplier of respirators,” 3M said in a statement.
Wow: Trump administration asks 3M to stop exporting its respirators to Canada and Latin America. 3M says no in new press release, citing concerns over the humanitarian impacts of that decision and saying it could backfire for US https://t.co/TqADTV079R pic.twitter.com/ICnqU6QcOH
— Robbie Gramer (@RobbieGramer) April 3, 2020
Sinise followed up on his tweet to beseech 3M to put the lives of American health care providers first, who go “into the belly of the beast” daily to care for others, and not to supply other countries at their expense.
“Point being, when American Health Care providers & workers need masks so desperately & they seek 2 purchase them, please 3M, make sure you have not sold them all 2 other countries and Spread them around. R folks need these so they can help our citizens,” the actor tweeted.
“Final comment: I have no problem with 3M selling 2 R friends in Canada & other countries, they need also, I just have a problem when 3M has done so at the expense of being able 2 provide masks to US healthcare workers who day in day out into the belly of the beast at their own risk,” he added.
Final comment:I have no problem with 3M selling 2 R friends in Canada & other countries,they need also,I just have a problem when 3M has done so at the expense of being able 2 provide masks to US healthcare workers who day in day out into the belly of the beast at their own risk https://t.co/Rq4oyFVI2L
— Gary Sinise (@GarySinise) April 3, 2020
There was an effort by some in the media to suggest that US-based 3M is dependent on Canada for the raw materials needed to make the masks.
At a time when President Trump is ordering 3M to stop exporting critical medical supplies like respirators to Canada, a mill in B.C. is shipping pulp to the US to be turned into surgical equipment.https://t.co/EqqXHFtt2i
— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) April 4, 2020
I get the knee jerk reaction against 3M exporting. But it's wrong. If the U.S. locks down PPE exports, then others lockdown raw materials. Then 3M can't produce masks at all. We rely on our trading partners and they rely on us. That's how this works. https://t.co/5DIuIDfrZ4
— Dustin P. Walsh (@dustinpwalsh) April 4, 2020
There were also reports of a shipment of masks intended for police in Germany being diverted to the US — 3M disputed the claim, noting online that respirator mask sold in Germany are made in Europe.
German media reported Friday that hundreds of thousands of masks purchased from manufacturer 3M and intended for Berlin police were diverted to the U.S. as they were being transferred between planes in Thailand. https://t.co/qSPtKWRCBD
— Jill Colvin (@colvinj) April 3, 2020
The notion of America first has been a Trump trademark, and the media has never been on board with the campaign.
Here’s a quick sampling of responses to Sinise from Twitter:
When Gary speaks people should listen. There is no more bigger Patriot than Gary Sinise.
— Adam Kreiser (@adam_kreiser) April 3, 2020
Very well said Gary, and I hope they hear you,
— Jack (@jjb0261) April 3, 2020
You are right, Gary Sinise. Ours should come first. I’m sure other countries are providing for their own first and then distributing further
— Hurricane37 (miss37) (@hurricane37) April 3, 2020
On a separate note. Thank you to the Gary Sinise Foundation for providing services to our Police ofcrs. Much appreciated!
— Capt T S Harrelson (@LAPDTSHarrelson) April 3, 2020
I think it’s a lesson for every country to be prepared. Globalism has very limited use when the crisis is global as well.
— George (@BugsyMcriver) April 3, 2020
Exactly! Their behavior is sickening as we are all learning how to sew, to make masks like crazy from online patterns, knowing they are not adequate, but something is better than nothing. Desperately trying to protect our friends, family, and strangers.
— #DareToBeFearless (@JoAnnFurnish) April 5, 2020
I hope that #3M will fix this and take care of Americans! 🇺🇸
— Sean Brown (@BigJellyDonut) April 3, 2020
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