US President Joe Biden holds up a KN95 masks as he delivers an replace on his Administrations whole-of-government COVID-19 surge response on the White Home in Washington, DC, on January 13, 2022.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Pictures
President Joe Biden on Thursday stated the U.S. will give prime quality masks to Individuals at no cost, as new infections from the omicron Covid-19 variant soar throughout the nation.
Biden stated the U.S. has greater than tripled the nationwide stockpile of extremely protecting N95 masks to ensure they’re extensively obtainable to most people. He stated masks are an important instrument to assist management the unfold of omicron.
“I do know that for some Individuals, the masks is just not all the time reasonably priced or handy to get,” Biden stated in addressing the nation from the White Home. “Subsequent week we’ll announce how we’re making prime quality masks obtainable to the American folks at no cost.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT., reintroduced legislation on Wednesday to distribute free N95 masks to each particular person within the U.S. at no cost. Everyone would obtain a package deal with three extremely protecting masks. Sanders’ laws has 50 Democratic cosponsors within the Home and Senate.
“As we face the quickly spreading omicron variant, we should always keep in mind that not all face masks are created equal,” Sanders stated in an announcement. “Congress should demand the mass manufacturing and distribution of N95 masks, one of the crucial efficient methods to cease the unfold of the Covid virus.”
Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday stated the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention would quickly replace its masking steerage to tell Individuals concerning the totally different ranges of safety totally different masks present. Nonetheless, Walensky stated the CDC recommends that any masks is healthier than no masks.
“We do encourage all Individuals to put on a well-fitting masks to guard themselves and stop the unfold of Covid-19, and that suggestion is just not going to vary,” the CDC director stated throughout a White Home Covid replace.
The CDC recommends that everybody, no matter vaccination standing, put on masks in indoors public areas in areas with substantial or excessive virus transmission. Proper now, nearly each county within the U.S. has excessive transmission of the virus, in response to the CDC. Omicron at the moment represents 98% of all sequenced Covid instances within the U.S., in response to the CDC.
Researchers in Australia discovered that cloth masks are least 50% efficient at filtering virus particles, whereas N95 and surgical masks are about 99% efficient. The study was published within the peer-reviewed journal Pathogens in September 2020.