Biden administration to ship free 400 million N95 masks across the US starting this week

Written by on January 19, 2022

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KN95, N95, surgical, fabric masks: Which protects finest towards COVID-19

Not all Face masks are created equal. Right here’s a breakdown of how every masks works towards COVID-19.

Simply the FAQs, USA TODAY

  • Nonsurgical N95 masks will likely be shipped to pharmacies, group facilities, and extra.
  • People will likely be restricted to a few masks per individual to make sure broad entry to this system.
  • Masks will likely be obtainable for pickup subsequent week, with this system absolutely operational by February.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s administration will begin delivery 400 million free non-surgical N95 face masks to distribution websites nationwide this week as a part of efforts to battle the surging omicron COVID-19 variant, in response to a White Home official.

Individuals will have the ability to choose up their masks at certainly one of “tens of hundreds” of pharmacies, hundreds of group facilities and different places throughout the nation, starting late subsequent week, the official mentioned.

The transfer comes because the rise in omicron COVID-19 instances has overwhelmed hospitals throughout the nation, resulting in mounting criticism over Biden’s capability to include the pandemic. Current polls have discovered extra Individuals disapprove of the president’s dealing with of the pandemic than approve, undercutting a onetime energy for Biden. 

The White Home expects this system to be absolutely up and working by early February. 

Extra: At-home COVID take a look at web site launches early. The way to order free testing kits from the federal government

People will likely be restricted to a few masks per individual to make sure broad entry to this system, the official mentioned. 

The White Home referred to as the enterprise “the most important deployment of protecting gear in U.S. historical past.” The administration this week additionally rolled out a brand new web site the place Individuals can request as much as 4 COVID-19 speedy checks be mailed to their households free of charge.

Biden hinted in regards to the transfer final week, saying his administration can be asserting “how we’re making high-quality masks obtainable to American folks, the American folks, free of charge.” He famous that about one-third of Individuals nonetheless say they do not put on masks of any variety to forestall the unfold of COVID-19. 

“I do know that for some Individuals, a masks is just not all the time inexpensive or handy to get,” Biden mentioned.

The masks will come from the U.S.’s Strategic Nationwide Stockpile, which has tripled its provide of N95 masks to 750 million within the one yr since Biden took workplace. The White Home has confronted growing stress to make extra protecting masks obtainable to the general public somewhat than much less protecting fabric variations.

Extra: CDC recommends greater high quality masks as instances surge; extra faculty districts shift to distant studying: COVID-19 updates

The White Home plans to leverage the identical federal packages used to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to pharmacies and group facilities, the official mentioned. That means most Individuals will have the ability to go to lots of the identical places wherein they acquired COVID-19 vaccinations to get their free masks. 

The free masks are along with 30 million masks the Biden administration distributed to meals banks and group well being facilities final yr and 23.5 million masks and respirators despatched to states. On his first day in workplace, Biden took motion to require masks be worn in federal buildings, airplanes and trains, and he is referred to as on Individuals to proceed sporting masks in all public indoors settings. 

Attain Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison.

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