Paying a price four times more than what France was offering, the United States has grabbed face masks meant for France while being loaded onto a plane in China.
So far US have the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world.
According to a report by French daily Liberation, the United States is trying to procure any masks available, disrupting deliveries to other nations.
On Thursday, a planeload of Chinese-made face masks were bought up right on the tarmac just as the much needed protective gear was about to set off for France.
“Americans pay three or four times the amount we pay, and in cash,” said Jean Rottner, head of France’s eastern region.
Both US and France, have come under criticism for its lack of preparedness in dealing with Covid-19. However, covert efforts to make up the shortfall of masks is also being called into question.
France has ordered more than one billion face masks, a quarter from China, as it battles the pandemic and currently has less than three weeks worth of supplies.
President Emmanuel Macron insisted French needed to regain its “independence” in producing vital medical equipment, without relying excessively on imports.