90 Miles From Tyranny : Not quite piracy? Berlin senator CORRECTS story of US ‘snatching' Germany-bound masks

Monday, April 6, 2020

Not quite piracy? Berlin senator CORRECTS story of US ‘snatching' Germany-bound masks

“A Berlin senator who accused the US of "piracy" by diverting a shipment of protective masks bound for the German capital has backtracked, and now says that no American firm was involved in the mix-up. But the masks remain missing.”

According to Berlin’s Senator for the Interior, Andreas Geisel, a shipment of protective masks left a 3M factory in China last week and arrived in Bangkok, Thailand, from where they were due to be shipped to Berlin’s police force. However, the masks never arrived.

Geisel claimed on Friday that they had been rerouted by 3M to the US, after President Donald Trump threatened the American firm would “have a big price to pay” if it continued to supply foreign customers over domestic clients.

Geisel, a Social Democrat, accused the US of engaging in “modern piracy,” and Berlin Mayor Michael Müller called the apparent mask swiping “inhumane and unacceptable.”

But cracks in Geisel’s story soon emerged. 3M denied diverting any shipment, and stated that it had never received an order from the German city. The White House too denied any involvement.

Geisel has walked back his accusation, claiming on Saturday that the masks had been ordered from a German firm, and not from 3M. “We are trying to work out the details,” with the police department in Berlin, his office stated on Twitter.

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