The FBI is stocking up on hand sanitizers and face masks "in case the coronavirus becomes a pandemic in the United States," reports CNBC.
"The FBI has actively been monitoring the coronavirus outbreak in Asia and is taking preemptive measures by procuring these items . . . now," the acquisition document reads.
The virus, which originated in China, has sickened tens of thousands of people in China and at least two dozen other countries.
Though the risk to most people outside China remains very low, the Trump administration last month declared the virus a public health emergency. Last week, CDC official Anne Schuchat urged U.S. hospitals to prepare for an outbreak.
"This is the time to open up your pandemic plans and see that things are in order," she said. "For instance," she continued, healthcare providers need to plan for a "surge at a hospital, the ability to provide personal protective equipment for your workforce, the administrative controls and so forth that you might put place in a healthcare setting."
The $40,000 of masks and hand sanitizers purchased from 3M and PDI are necessary due to safety, the agency said in its acquisition document.
"Due to the human life and safety component, these two brands are required," it said. "The items being requested will be critical to keeping employees safe should a coronavirus pandemic take place."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.