Pence asks construction companies to donate N95 industrial masks to local hospitals

MARCH 11: Contents of each kit issued to LAPD field personnel: A single use N95 mask. LAPD personnel assemble personal safety kits for field officers to protect themselves from exposure to the Coronavirus, at Piper Technical Center on Wednesday, Marc ( Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times )

Vice President Pence called on construction companies Tuesday to donate their N95 respirator masks to hospitals to protect front-line responders from the coronavirus pandemic.

Pence, who is heading the White House's coronavirus task force, also called on construction companies to stop ordering more masks so health care workers can be protected as they treat an influx of patients infected with COVID-19.

"We would make one specific request and that is we would urge construction companies to donate inventory of N95 masks to your local hospital and forgo additional orders," Pence said from the White House.

"Those industrial masks that they use on construction sites are perfectly acceptable for health care workers to be protected from a respiratory disease," Pence said, flanked by President Trump and public health officials.

CORONAVIRUS: WHAT TO KNOW

The call for help comes as the Senate is expected to pass the House's legislation today to make testing free for all Americans, as well as provide 14 paid sick days and expand emergency leave for workers affected by the coronavirus.

Immediately after passage of the second coronavirus bill, the Senate will get to work on a broader stimulus package to revive the economy that has been jolted due to nationwide social distancing.

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