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Tech companies weren’t masks, they protected workers from forest fire smoke

U.S. technology companies have donated a huge number of N95 particle filtering face masks to hospitals and health professionals. While they used the old adage that no good deed goes unpunished, some Americans have lashed out at these companies.

Some of this has come in the form of hostility to tech giants that is more appropriate here for government officials. And sure, frontline workers in this pandemic shouldn’t have torely on Silicon Valley for face masks“But we are missing the fact that Silicon Valley companies are stepping up to supply supplies because mishandling by the government of the response to a COVID-19 outbreak, excessive regulation of who can manufacture medical supplies, and generally poor pandemic preparation by the federal authorities hardly hampers these tech companies.

Some of the hostility comes from people who accuse tech companies of hoarding N95 masks before, or suggest there is something unusual about having all these masks “just lying around. “

Again, this anger is misplaced. Mask donations come from such as Facebook, Apple, Salesforce, Tesla, Flexport, Intel and IBM, all with headquarters or activities in the Bay Area. That is an area full of fires, especially nowadays.

Last year, California changed health regulations to oblige employers in certain risk areas for wildfire to provide voluntary N95 respirators for workers at risk. The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board Regulation, effective in August 2019 and after a year on sunset.

The types of masks required in California are not surgical N95 masks, but masks that block dust, smoke, and construction by-products. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relaxed its rules by saying that the nonsurgical N95 masks should be used by health professionals and medical institutions.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook’s mask reserve was ‘bought in case the wildfires continue.’ (He also said the company is trying to “donate much more.”)

Do these donations even come remotely to solve all our mask problems? No. But they can still save many lives and prevent even more infections.

We need private and large private companies, state and federal authorities, charity groups, and countless individuals to work together to make it through. Now is not the time for the kind of reactionary, anti-market, anti-Big Tech bias that still too often comes from both the political left and right in the wake of COVID-19.


A federal stimulus package was fought in Congress yesterday, calling for $ 2 trillion in direct aid expenditure. Senator Chuck Schumer (D – N.Y.) said the package included “steroid unemployment benefits”.

Economic adviser to the White House Larry Kudlow said the total price of the economic stimulus plan will be about $ 6 trillion, once you charge $ 4 trillion on Federal Reserve loans, making it the largest economic stimulus plan approved in US history.

Stay tuned for more Reason comment on the package later today. For now, here are some thoughts from Rep. Justin Amash (I-Vt.):

And watch Tuesday’s interview with Billy Binion with Amash about the idea of ​​scrapping all Americans for direct checks.


Prisons and prisons release people incarcerated for non-violent crimes, as the facilities face COVID-19 outbreaks. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to release 300 people from Rikers Island and at least 1,700 prisoners have already been released in Los Angeles County.

“Thousands of older federal prisoners are locked up in prisons that could become greenhouses for COVID-19, and supporters and members of Congress say the Trump administration needs to act quickly to get them out of the danger zone,” ReasonC.J. Ciaramella yesterday. On Tuesday, criminal groups and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle – not to mention the prisoners themselves – urged the Trump administration to take advantage of the existing policy of compassionate release, as well as massive pardon or executive orders to safeguard federal prisoners. “

Related:Why Coronavirus in Prisons Should Affect All of Us. “