Biden Administration to Distribute 25 Million American-Made Masks
As part of its effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and encourage American manufacturing, the Biden administration announced that it would be distributing 25 million American-made masks to 1,300 community health centers and 60,000 food pantries and soup kitchens.
These will be reusable, washable cloth masks available in both children’s and adult sizes. NBC News reports that the masks will be available beginning in March. These are not medical-grade masks, so they will not interfere with the supply available to health-care workers. However, they have been found to be effective to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
The population was chosen in large part because it is vulnerable to infection but may not be able to afford well-fitting cloth masks. In addition, new guidelines call for double-masking, so this will make that easier for more people.
In his executive order addressing supply chains, President Biden noted that shortages of masks and other personal protective equipment, especially in the early stages of the pandemic, made the spread of the virus worse in the US than in many other countries. The lack of manufacturing capacity in the US led to supply shortages, while increasing demand bid up prices.
Given that this PPE is critical to fighting a pandemic, encouraging domestic manufacturing will speed the response to the next viral infection. This will save lives and reduce economic carnage.
More from GOBankingRates