Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) For Illinois : Planet Money States are scrambling to find any way to get more masks, gloves, anything. Including mass emailing people who have nothing to do with it. Enter, a man with a van. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
NPR logo

Episode 992: The Mask Mover

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/837216447/858420755" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Episode 992: The Mask Mover

Episode 992: The Mask Mover

Episode 992: The Mask Mover

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/837216447/858420755" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Vincent Kalut/Photonews via Getty Images
LIEGE, BELGIUM - MARCH 23 : Arrival of a new shipment of 6 million surgical masks at the cargo area of Liege Airport. (Photo by Vincent Kalut / Photonews via Getty Images)
Vincent Kalut/Photonews via Getty Images

The pandemic has turned the market for critical items like masks and gloves into a free-for-all. The national stockpile is pretty much depleted. The normal channels are tapped out. The Feds have opted not to manage it, leaving every state to fend for itself.

Today on the show, we take you into one high pressure deal where the difference between life and death comes down to a locked room filled with computer servers, bureaucrats willing to bend the rules, and a guy... who knows a guy.

Music: "Long Train," "On The Move," and "Wild West Samurai."

Find us: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts and NPR One.

For more about how mountains are moved with the push of a pencil, subscribe to our Newsletter.