In their efforts to stop the widespread transmission of the epidemic, the White House is contemplating mailing face masks to citizens on a mass scale, said President Joe Biden on Wednesday. He was at a roundtable event organized for the Black frontline workers.
The President expressed hope that they would be sending out quite a number of face masks soon. “We’re probably going to be sending out an awful lot of masks around the country very shortly, millions of them”, CNN quotes the President.
White House To Mail In Face Masks To Americans
The President has expressed his concern over face masks becoming a political issue. He said that wearing a mask has turned into a political statement. It separates those who support the preventive measure while those who oppose do not wear them.
But it is ‘plain basic science’, in his own words. “We could have saved an awful lot of lives”, he added. The former president Donald Trump and his allies were openly against the use of masks. He had been later on diagnosed with the virus which had attracted a lot of criticism.
The Trump team at the White House was responsible for sidelining a similar idea back in April 2020. The postal service had proposed mailing 650 million masks but the Trump administration rejected the idea stating that it might create public panic, reported the Washington Post. The current administration tabled the idea earlier this month, according to NBC, and it has received unanimous approval for a feasibility study.
The White House is looking to get the situation under control, according to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain. He said in an interview that they are looking into the mask supplies currently in stock to do what they can. “ I hope in the next few days or next week, we can perhaps announce some progress on this”, he added in the interview.
According to experts, masks are the most effective preventive measure against Covid viral infection. Coupled with social distancing, masks have been proven effective in other countries too. Some studies even go on to state that masks could be effective even in situations when you cannot properly socially distance yourself.
At the beginning of the pandemic, face masks had been the advised preventive measure but a grave mask shortage also took place, as people stocked up on supplies for the long haul. Surgical masks and other personal protective equipment were also short on supply, even for the frontline workers, doctors, nurses, and other medical staff. The recently developed N95 masks too ran short of the requirement.
Presently, such advanced PPE’s and masks such as N95, surgical masks, etc, are reserved for the frontline workers in the US. Sellers and manufacturers were advised in a memo last year to halt selling these items to the public.
The new decision from the White House is a welcoming change for many as a majority of Americans want to use face masks to protect themselves. Mailing the masks out to the populace could prove to be the policy change to stop the spread of Covid-19, according to some citizens.