Best of AP — Honorable Mention


AP spots, tracks counterfeit N95 masks from China

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The exterior of Chinese factory Shanghai Dasheng in Shanghai, China, May 6, 2020. An AP investigation has tracked counterfeit N95 masks produced by Shanghai Dasheng entering the U.S. mediical supply system. – FRONTLINE/PBS/GRC via AP

AP investigative journalists Juliet Linderman and Martha Mendoza spotted something unusual about the N95 mask shipment they were shown in Southern California in early April – the eagerly awaited masks matched those on the counterfeit warning page of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The pair spent the next few weeks contacting U.S. importers and distributors who were selling and giving away the same Chinese-made masks, informing them the masks were fake while reviewing shipping records, broker contacts, invoices and packaging. Their story about how one brand of counterfeits infiltrated the U.S. supply chain served as an example of how the lack of coordination amid massive shortages plunged the country’s medical system into chaos.

The story is part of an ongoing investigation by The Associated Press, the PBS series “Frontline” and the Global Reporting Centre that examines the deadly consequences of the fragmented worldwide medical supply chain.

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