Bright, who had served as head of BARDA since 2016, realized that the masks and other equipment would be in short supply.
On January 21, Mike Bowen, co-owner of Prestige Ameritech, the largest surgical mask producing company in the U.S., contacted Bright to express concern about the shortage of the masks.
“I’ve alerted [Critical Infrastructure Protection, a division of HHS over which Kadlec has authority] on this throughout week.
“This week, we sent 1,000,000 masks to China and Hong Kong,” he wrote to Bright.
The two drafted a memo sent to the White House coronavirus task force that called for the U.S. to immediately halt the export of N95 masks and ramp up production.

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