On Friday, during a briefing with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell, a reporter appeared to ask Criswell about an announcement President Biden made regarding free “high-quality” masks for Americans.
“So, what’s the point of now sending N95 or KN95 masks out to Americans if a lot of those masks are just single, daily use, like somebody wears it once — then what?” Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked.
Criswell didn’t answer Doocy’s question directly:
Masks save lives — I think is the important thing here. And we want to make sure that everybody has the tools and resources that they need in order to protect themselves and their families.
Psaki immediately moved on to the next reporter.
During remarks at the White House on Thursday, President Biden said that it was our “patriotic duty” to wear masks, then he spoke about his alleged free mask distribution plan:
Please wear a mask. If you’re in a — you know, I think it is part of your patriotic duty. It’s not that comfortable. It’s a pain in the neck.
We have also helped make sure that high-quality masks are widely available, in ample supply, at affordable prices, sold online and in stores. But I know that for some Americans, a mask is not always affordable or convenient to get. So, next week we’ll announce how we are making high-quality masks available to American people — the American people for free.
The president didn’t elaborate on the plan.
Biden isn’t the only Democrat pushing for free N95 or KN95 masks. On Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) reintroduced his “Masks for All Act,” which is co-sponsored by multiple Democratic senators, including Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ).
Sanders said of the proposed legislation:
Congress must demand the mass production and distribution of N95 masks, one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the Covid virus. It is an absolute scandal that in the richest country in the history of the world, high-quality masks are not more readily available to frontline workers, health care workers, and all Americans. We are proposing that we do what our public health experts and scientists say we must do: provide all of our people with high-quality, N95 masks without cost, which could prevent death and suffering and save huge amounts of health care dollars.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their mask guidance, providing information about higher-quality masks, including N95 and KN95 masks.
“Loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection, layered finely woven products offer more protection, well-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95s offer even more protection, and well-fitting NIOSH-approved respirators (including N95s) offer the highest level of protection,” the CDC website states.
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