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Berlin official backs away after accusing US of confiscating masks


After accusing Trump of being behind the confiscation of 200,000 masks allocated for Berlin police, Andreas Geisel, Berlin’s senator for the interior, backed away from those remarks, affirming that the shipment was requested from a German company and not the American 3M.


Geisel denied his previous claim that the US administration seized the batch of masks, confirming the Washington Post's continued interest in fabricating accusations against President Trump, without sufficient verification of the veracity of the sources.


In a statement distributed by the city mayor’s office and senate a day earlier, Andreas Geisel, Berlin’s senator for the interior, was quoted as saying a delivery of FFP2 masks only made it as far as Bangkok before it was “confiscated,” the Washington Post reported.

He had said the consignment was ordered from a U.S. firm and “we are currently assuming that this is related to the U.S. government’s ban on mask exports.” Berlin Mayor Michael Muller also weighed in Friday to call President Trump’s alleged actions “inhumane and unacceptable.”

But Geisel wrote on Twitter on Saturday that he had clarified that the order was placed with a German firm and that supply chain issues were being “reviewed.”

In a statement earlier Saturday, 3M had denied German news reports that it was the supplier in question.


U.S.-listed multinational 3M Co said Friday that the White House had ordered it to stop all shipments to Canada and Latin America of respirators that it manufactures in the United States, despite what 3M called “significant humanitarian implications.”

Advice to wear masks


Trump said on Friday that the U.S. government is now recommending Americans wear cloth face coverings on a voluntary basis to stem the spread of the virus, but the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend wearing medical-grade masks, Reuters reported.

He also said he was signing a directive to stop the export of N95 respirator masks, which provide essential protection for healthcare workers, and other U.S. medical equipment.