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States spent over $7B competing for early virus supplies

Photo credit: Pfizer
Posted at 9:27 PM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 21:27:22-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — An Associated Press analysis shows states spent more than $7 billion this spring buying personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and gowns as well as vital medical devices such as ventilators.

The data obtained from states through open-records requests is the most comprehensive accounting to date of how much states were spending and whom they were paying during a chaotic period at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some states paid as much as $11 for individual N95 masks, which could have been bought for around 50 cents before the pandemic.

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Data from The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.