Biden’s administration responded to the requests from public health experts and decided to distribute nearly 400 million high-quality N95 masks to the American public for free of cost at community health centers and retail pharmacies across the United States. The distribution is said to begin next week, and this scheme is expected to be fully functional by the start of February.
US Government To Issue 400 Million N95 Masks For Free Of Cost
Officials call this move the largest deployment of protective equipment in U.S. history. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcement about the importance of N95 masks stated that cloth masks or surgical masks do not offer better protection.
The National Institute should approve those N95 masks for Occupational Safety & Health. Considering the underlying critical conditions, the government has taken this step. Schools and workplaces find it hard to remain open, even after regular testing and proper social measures.
The 400 million non-surgical N95 masks are coming from Strategic National Stockpile. Last year, the White House’s decision to boost the resources has paved its way to help this wave. The number of masks stored last year was said to have tripled.
N95 masks can filter out 95% of all particles in the air. It was in short supply when the pandemic began. According to CDC’s description for masks, a tight-fitting N95 offers the highest level of protection. The unexpected surge of covid in the U.S. caused the government to take necessary actions.
According to data from John Hopkins University, on average more than 750,000 new covid infections have been reported every day for the past week. Biden said that masks are an essential tool to stop the spread; Omicron is highly transmittable, and the only way to stop them is by wearing masks. He added that he finally wishes to stop wearing masks, but now is not the right moment.
The government also launched a new website, covidtests.gov, which allows Americans to order at home covid 19 testing kits for free of cost. People can order a maximum of four test kits and get them shipped directly to their households.
The government has faced criticism for not making this move sooner, as the Omicron surge faced a massive spike in cases. Public Health Experts suggest that the government should send N95 masks to every household.
Medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health said that surgical or masks other than N95 are nothing more than facial decorations.
Jeff Zients, President’s coronavirus response Ordinator, said that the administration was actively looking for ways to make high-quality masks available to the public last week.
White House said that the administration would start shipping the N95 masks from Strategic National Stockpile to local pharmacies and health centers by the end of this week, and masks are expected to be available by the end of next week. The program is said to be fully functional by February.
At the pandemic’s beginning, the Strategic National Stockpile was depleted entirely, leaving the health care workers without masks and protective health gear to fight the covid.
Biden’s administration promised to correct these errors, so the nation would never fall short of public health demands, said Dawn O’Connell, the assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services.
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