Biden Administration to Distribute 400 Million N95 Masks

Side angle of an NYPD Officer wearing a patriotic American Flag themed N95 Ventilator Mask while on duty in New York City
Julian Wan / Unsplash

The Biden administration plans to make 400 million N95 masks available to Americans for free, a White House official told CNN.

The masks will come from the Strategic National Stockpile, and they expect the program to be  “fully up and running by early February.” According to the report, the masks will be available at pharmacies and health centers.

“This is the largest deployment of personal protective equipment in US history,” the official told CNN.

The moms comes nearly two years after public health officials began advising the use of masks, despite Dr. Anthony Fauci’s initial dismissal.

“The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through the material,” he wrote in a February 2020 email to former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

Despite that, when public health officials began recommending Americans to wear masks, they advised against N95s, citing concerns of shortages of PPE for healthcare workers. Up until last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continued to advise Americans against using N95s or KN95s.

However, it on January 14, it updated its guidance to clarify that “people can choose respirators such as N95s and KN95s, including removing concerns related to supply shortages for N95s.”

The move comes months after studies showed that the commonly worn cloth and surgical masks are “roughly 10 percent efficient at blocking exhaled aerosols,” as Breitbart News reported.

“I know we all wish that we could finally be done with wearing masks. I get it,” Biden said last week. “But there is a — they’re a really important tool to stop the spread, especially of the highly transmittable Omicron variant. So, please, please wear the mask.”

Notably, Biden’s remark comes months after he promised “just” 100 days of masking.

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