Two Best Friends and the Global Treasure Hunt for Coronavirus Supplies

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SAN FRANCISCO—Jake Medwell and Drew Oetting, roommates in this city’s Russian Hill neighborhood, usually start each morning with an intense partner workout and shots of apple cider vinegar. This past Tuesday began with a frantic phone call from the State Department.

The government wanted surgical masks—hundreds of millions of them, to satisfy a potentially catastrophic shortage at home and abroad for protective gear against the coronavirus. Messrs. Medwell and Oetting, 30-something venture capitalists with investments in logistics…



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