White House wants to send masks to every household within weeks in bid to get people wearing them, Joe Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain reveals
- Biden has called for Americans to mask-up for 100 days
- Trump administration rejected the proposal, instead sending masks to health departments
- Trump himself was criticized for failing to model mask usage
- Chief of staff Ron Klain says announcement could come within days
- White House wants it ‘back on track’
President Joe Biden‘s administration is reviving a proposal to send mask to American households in as many people continue to reject health guidelines that experts say could be even more effective in the short term than vaccines.
Biden has been promoting a 100 days of mask wearing in an effort to stem infections, with 7-day average infections finally trending downward but coronavirus deaths still at alarming levels similar to those over the summer.
White House chief of staff Ron Klain said an announcement was coming soon.
President Joe Biden is pushing 100 days of mask-wearing, and his administration is considering sending masks to U.S. households
‘This was an idea that really came up last year in the Trump administration. The public health agencies recommended it the president vetoed it for some reason,’ he told NBC.
‘We want to get this back on track. We’re looking at what can be done to quickly do this with the mass supplies that we have. I hope in the next few days or next week, we may be able to announce some progress on this. But, of course, this is part overall of a plan to try to get every American messed up in these first 100 days. We’re going to do whatever we can to make mass more available to people to increase the supply of masks and of course to get people to wear those masks,’ Klain added.
NBC reported earlier Thursday that the idea was under consideration. Back in April, with the pandemic raging, the administration scrapped a plan to send millions of cloth masks to U.S. households, instead distributing them to states and nonprofits.
The Health and Human Services Department distributed 600 million masks through other means.
White House chief of staff Ron Klain called the idea of sending masks to U.S. households ‘back on track’
The Biden administration wants to revive an idea of sending masks to Americans
NBC aired a report on a Florida store with a shockingly low level of mask wearing
The store’s owner called the 400,000 coronavirus death toll ‘hogwash,’ although his number was actually below the total
There were severe shortages of surgical and medical grade masks early in the pandemic, and the Biden Administration continues to use the Defense Production Act to secure certain medical supplies deemed critical.
Biden himself continues to mask up regularly in public, even occasionally inside the Oval Office during televised events.
It was not immediately clear how the masks would be distributed; wither it would be across-the-board or to areas hardest hit; or whether they would single out areas where people are rejecting masks.
Experts have relied on persuasion to try to convince people to put up with the inconvenience of masks, which have been found effective to prevent the spread of the virus. But it isn’t just cost or access that is holding people back, as many stores now carry a variety of cloth, single-use, and pricier n-95 masks.
Not everyone is buying it, including a Florida supermarket owner who claims they don’t work. Video of the store, with staff and customers unmasked, shocked viewers and drew stern comments online, amid a state whose elderly population is battling a horrific pandemic spread by the respiratory disease.