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 Photos
President Joe Biden on Thursday mentioned the U.S. will give prime quality masks to People without spending a dime, as new infections from the omicron Covid-19 variant soar throughout the nation.
Biden mentioned the U.S. has greater than tripled the nationwide stockpile of extremely protecting N95 masks to verify they’re broadly obtainable to most people. He mentioned masks are an important instrument to assist management the unfold of omicron.
“I do know that for some People, the masks will not be at all times inexpensive or handy to get,” Biden mentioned in addressing the nation from the White Home. “Subsequent week we’ll announce how we’re making prime quality masks obtainable to the American individuals without spending a dime.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT., reintroduced legislation on Wednesday to distribute free N95 masks to each particular person within the U.S. without spending a dime. Everyone would obtain a bundle 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 do not forget that not all face masks are created equal,” Sanders mentioned in a press release. “Congress should demand the mass manufacturing and distribution of N95 masks, some of the efficient methods to cease the unfold of the Covid virus.”
Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday mentioned the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention would quickly replace its masking steerage to tell People in regards to the completely different ranges of safety completely different masks present. Nevertheless, Walensky mentioned the CDC recommends that any masks is best than no masks.
“We do encourage all People to put on a well-fitting masks to guard themselves and forestall the unfold of Covid-19, and that advice will not be going to vary,” the CDC director mentioned 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, just about each county within the U.S. has excessive transmission of the virus, in response to the CDC. Omicron at present represents 98% of all sequenced Covid circumstances 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.