Defense department contracts to increase 3M's N95 mask production

The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded 3M two contracts to allow the Minnesota-based business to increase its production of N95 respirator masks in the coming weeks.

According to a release issued Thursday, the two contracts allow 3M to make an additional 39 million masks per month. An investment already in progress by 3M also adds 22 million masks per month to that output.

The company will now produce more than 95 million N95 respirator masks per month.

"3M is working around the clock to get much-needed personal protective equipment to the nation's frontline healthcare workers," Mike Roman, 3M chairman of the board and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "Being selected for these contracts will allow us to increase our manufacturing capability even more. We thank the Trump Administration and the Department of Defense for their close collaboration on this effort and share their goal of protecting the American public."

According to 3M, production of the equipment to handle increased respirator production has begun in Wisconsin, where initial production of the masks will begin in June.

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