Some states and cities that have been shipped masks, gloves, ventilators and other essential equipment from the nation’s medical stockpile to fight the coronavirus have gotten an unwelcome surprise: the material is unusable.
Nearly 6,000 medical masks sent to Alabama had dry rot. More than 150 ventilators sent to Los Angeles were broken and had to be repaired. In Oregon, it was masks with faulty elastic that could cause the straps to snap.
The CDC has acknowledged that some items in the U.S. stockpile have exceeded their manufacturer-designated shelf life but still were being distributed because of the urgent demand.