WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - We're learning more about the possible counterfeit N95 masks that were distributed to first responders in the District as sources told FOX 5's Evan Lambert last night.
FOX 5's Shirin Rajaee reports that the D.C. mayor's office is taking this report seriously and is now investigating what appears to be counterfeit N95 masks that made their way into the city's stockpile.
Someone working in the D.C. Fire and EMS Department alerted the city of the problem Thursday when the N95 mask did not work properly.
The city took quick action and pulled all N95 masks that appear to be counterfeit.
FOX 5 has learned they apparently were in a shipment of 650,000 masks that were sent to the city in mid-January. About 13,000 were distributed to the fire department and authorities have now removed them.
Earlier this week, the federal government reported a similar problem.
Agents seized a million fake N95 masks from a warehouse on the East Coast.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas promised those responsible will be prosecuted.
The District also will take action against those responsible.
The city administrator issued a statement through a spokesperson that says in part:
"The District takes the safety and security of its employees extremely seriously—especially our first responders and medical professionals, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The counterfeit masks we have encountered are extremely deceptive, and because of their fraudulence, they are extremely dangerous as well. We will take every measure we can to stay ahead of the counterfeiters."