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U.S. military labs available to test civilians for coronavirus, donate millions of masks

Christian Fernsby |
Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced yesterday the department will make 14 certified coronavirus testing labs available to test civilians and donate five million medical masks to the Department of Health and Human Services for distribution as hospitals deal with an influx of patients during the pandemic.

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Esper said at a briefing that of the five million N95 masks which health care workers wear to treat infectious diseases one million will be made available now.

He also said the department is prepared to distribute up to 2,000 ventilators "as needed."

Two additional coronavirus testing labs would soon be offered by the department, Esper said.

In addition to the masks, ventilators and testing labs, Esper said the department is "considering activating National Guard and reserve units to assist states with planning, logistics, and medical support as needed."

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