Just last month, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he made a deal with a Chinese electric car manufacturer in order to obtain more N95 protective masks for emergency responders in California. But on Monday, Newsom's attorneys refused to tell the public exactly what was in that $990-million contract with the Chinese company, despite the fact that millions of shipments had already arrived in the state.
“Cal OES determined all responsive records are exempt from disclosure, including exemptions for records reflecting attorney work product, attorney-client privileged information, or other information exempt from disclosure under federal or state law,” Ryan Gronsky, an attorney with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said.
The response, or lack thereof, came after the Los Angeles Times requested public records from the Governor's Office of Emergency Services. California lawmakers have also requested for the information to be made public. But officials from Newsom's office continue to insist that there is no obligation for the contract to be made public, citing that it could jeopardize their agreement as well as the delivery of the masks.
“Publishing the agreement now — before performance under the contract is complete — would introduce substantial and unnecessary risk to the State’s ability to secure necessary supplies,” Gronsky added.
All we know is that the agreement includes the purchase of 200 millions masks per month, for at least two months. We don't even know how much the state is paying per mask...
According to a spokesman for Cal OES, more than 10 million masks had been delivered to the state as of Monday. For the full report, visit The Los Angeles Times.