Millions of Counterfeit N95 Masks Bought and Used in Five States

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Millions of counterfeit masks were bought by hospitals, medical institutions and government agencies in at least five states, with some actually being used by healthcare workers in Washington State, reports the New York Times. The fraudulent masks are dangerous because they may not offer the same level of protection against the coronavirus as legitimate N95 masks manufactured by 3M. Cassie Sauer, the president and chief executive of the Washington State Hospital Association, said about two million counterfeit N95 masks may have made it into the state. Washington State hospitals bought hundreds of thousands of the fraudulent masks, and the association itself bought 300,000 for its members. News of the investigation came as the Homeland Security Department’s intelligence branch warned law enforcement agencies separately on Wednesday that criminals on the dark web had since December sold counterfeits of coronavirus vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration for “hundreds of dollars per dose.”

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