Berlin accused the United States to "confiscate" an order of masks for Germany at Bangkok airport. The shipment of protective equipment was reportedly confiscated by US officials, who reportedly diverted 200,000 masks to the United States before letting the rest of the order arrive. Germany to help in the fight against coronavirus. DW's policy correspondent, Michaela Küfner, said: "What is being reported as occurring is that a shipment of these special masks, particularly of importance to the medical team, has been transferred at Bangkok airport in Thailand.
"This shipment was produced by an American company that makes these masks in China and, as we found out, the American authorities simply confiscated 200,000 masks.
"Part of the shipment went to Germany, this is where we are."
Küfner suggested that the claim that the seized masks could be a particular constraint for the German government after the Defense Department last week lost track of a German army shipment of six million masks during transit in Kenya.
She continued: "This is particularly embarrassing for the German authorities who, a few days ago, lost about six million masks in Kenya at an airport – a shipment that just did not pass and that appears to have been redirected by illegal means.
"It was recognized that official ways are simply not working, that private companies are much better at exploring regional networks.
"This is also why people like Volkswagen have now pooled their resources in other logistics companies to help the government, which simply has not been able to buy enough masks.
"The German way of doing things is clearly no match for America's clear strategy, which does not seem to restrain itself from taking any official route."
Berlin Interior Minister Andreas Geisel asked Angela Merkel to speak out against US intervention in times of crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic.
Ile de France leader Valérie Pécresse said: "We lost an order to the Americans who overcame us on a shipment we had queued up for."
Jean Rottner, the leader of the Grand Est region, claimed that an order for protective equipment was purchased on the runway before the boarding was loaded onto a plane to France.
"We are working around the clock to ensure that these masks arrive.
"Americans pay three or four times what we pay and in cash."
But an unnamed senior US government official denied the allegations, telling AFP: “The United States government has not purchased any masks intended for delivery from China to France.
"Reports to the contrary are completely false."