They should not be sold in stores to consumers, said 3M CEO Mike Roman in a CNBC interview Monday.
"We're ready to expedite respirators to wherever they're needed", Roman said.
"While 3M is now operating at maximum production, we have accelerated investments to expand our global capacity even more. We anticipate being able to nearly double our capacity again, to almost 2 billion respirators globally, within the next 12 months".
On Sunday, 3M sent to NY and Seattle over 500,000 N95s in response to the ongoing shortage of healthcare equipment. Roman said some 350,000 should arrive in NY on Monday.
Before Sunday, news reports and video showed a Target in Seattle with shelves full of the N95s.
"There was some inventory, as you would expect, throughout the supply chain from what was happening even as we came into 2020", Roman said. Of that number, more than 90% are now for healthcare workers, the rest being deployed in other industries also critical to this pandemic, including energy, food and pharmaceutical companies, "Roman said in a Linkedin message on Sunday".
Manufacturing conglomerate 3M said that it had shipped over half-a-million N95 masks to NY and Seattle, two of the areas hardest hit by the coronavirus catastrophe and that it is ready to send extra shipments throughout the country. A change signed into law on Wednesday lets US makers that produce N95 masks for industrial applications to sell them without fear of accountability.
The current availability of N95 respirator masks was the source of a major disruption for 6% of providers and a moderate disruption for 19% of providers, according to the ASHP survey, while 37% reported that it was a minor disruption.
"These are things that we have to do", he said. He said other companies in areas such as logistics are working with 3M to help it continue to expand its capacity.