• The University of Michigan was sent 22,000 face masks from the national stockpile.
  • When they arrived, officials found that the surgical masks were “less than durable,” so they were removed from the inventory.
  • Other institutions in the state told the paper they’ve had no issues with supplies from the stockpile. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

About 22,000 surgical masks shipped from the federal government’s strategic national stockpile to the University of Michigan were not usable, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The masks had to be removed from the inventory of Michigan Medicine, the university’s health system, according to the paper.

About 2,000 of the masks were distributed to health care workers, a spokesman for the system told the Free Press. 

“We found them to be less durable and so have removed as many as possible from inventory and are not distributing the rest,” he said. “We found enough problems with the shipment that we didn’t want to use the remaining ones.”

The shipment isn’t the first time supplies from the national stockpile have been an issue. Alabama received masks with dry rot.  California received 170 broken ventilators.

The Michigan hospital system has alerted officials at the strategic national stockpile about the problem with the masks, according to the Free Press.

The stockpile shipments come at a time when hospitals around the country are struggling to supply their staff with protective gear because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

As of Thursday, there were 22,651 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Reporters from the Free Press and Bridge Magazine surveyed other health systems in Michigan that received supplies from the national stockpile. The systems — including Beaumont Health, Henry Ford Health System, and St. Joseph Mercy Health System — reported no problems with their supplies.

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