White House makes 400 million N95 masks available for free in another policy reversal

US President Joe Biden holds a mask while making remarks at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on January 13, 2022 in Washington, DC Photo: Anna Moneymaker (Getty Images)

About 400 million high-quality N95 masks will be made available to Americans free of charge from the Strategic National Stock Pill, according to a White House announcement picked up by numerous news outlets early Wednesday. And while that’s great news, the question remains: why did it take so long?

“This is the largest deployment of personal protective equipment in US history,” an unnamed White House official told the… Wall Street Journal. “Experts agree that masking is an important tool in controlling the spread of Covid-19.”

The masks will reportedly be distributed by pharmacies affiliated with the federal vaccine program and Americans will be able to get up to three masks per person. The population of the US is about 330 million.

The Biden administration has previously been resistant to giving things away for free, despite the historic nature of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. White House press secretary Jen Psaki even mocked the idea of ​​mailing Americans free covid-19 tests early Decemberonly to completely reverse course a few weeks later after I was ridiculed online.

Similarly, an unnamed White House official was quoted last week in a Politico story ridiculing the idea of ​​giving money away. free N95 masks.

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“It may be popular in certain corners of Twitter, but for masks to work as a public health tool, people have to actually wear them,” the official said, according to Politico. “To prevent spread, the focus should be on maximizing the number of people who simply wear masks, not shifting the goalposts to encourage everyone to do everything they can to use high filtering masks to make it less likely that they will inhale themselves. particles.”

News leaked Tuesday evening that the Biden administration was considering a move to hand out high-quality masks for free, following in the footsteps of new CDC guidelines that suggest Americans try to get N95 or KN95 masks that better protect the wearer from the virus. contracting the coronavirus.

Americans can now go online to CovidTests.gov and request their tests for free, although there are already reports of big problems. And while the free government masks will be distributed through pharmacies and health centers, it’s not yet known if people will ever be able to request them through a website.

The US reported more than 1.18 million new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, according to BNO News, due in part to the holiday weekend backlog, although only 47 of the 50 states reported their numbers for that day. The seven-day moving average for daily cases in the US is currently 772,230 and the country reported 3,338 new deaths on Tuesday.

Better late than never when it comes to masks, right? Except those 3,338 dead Americans.

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