Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), has introduced legislation to send N95 Masks to U.S. homes, as the Biden administration stalls on plans to distribute high-quality masks for all Americans.
“Today I introduced legislation, along with more than 50 of my colleagues, to produce N95 masks, one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of Covid-19, and distribute them to every American for free,” Sanders said on Wednesday.
Sanders has previously introduced similar legislation to Wednesday’s proposal. In July 2020 – just as health officials were recommending widespread mask-wearing – Sanders proposed sendingHigh-quality, reusable and reusable masks for every person in the country the United States Postal Service.
Recent research has foundHigh-quality masks, such as N95s or KN95s, are significantly more effective in preventing spread of the disease. As such, some health officialsWe have started to recommend that people replace cloth masks with more protective options such as surgical masks, KN95s, or N95s.
All masks may not be created equal. pic.twitter.com/eLtBkbfk5c
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 10, 2022
Despite the fact that lower-level health officials have recommended better masks to their patients, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) has not recommended them. Recent reports show that the CDC is currently weighing issuing such guidance. The guidance would say that, if people can “tolerate wearing a KN95 or N95 mask all day, you should,” according to The Washington Post.
The Biden administration is alsoWe are looking at a plan to send high quality masks to all who request them, possibly including N95s and KN95s. But it’s unclear if that will come with obstacles like the administration’s recent plan to provide free at-home COVID tests nearly exclusively for people with private insurance, who would have to jump through insurer’s hoops to get reimbursements for the test costs.
Sanders has urged Biden to use the Defense Production Act to force manufacturers to produce medical equipment for the pandemic. “Not all face masks are created equal,” Sanders said over the weekend. “N95 face masks are far more effective than cloth masks in preventing the spread of COVID. We must utilize the Defense Production Act to mass produce these masks and distribute them to every household in the country.”
In fact, if the CDC recommends the use of high quality masks, it would imply that the administration should take actions to make them more readily available. It is now nearly two years since the pandemic. is still difficultIt is difficult for consumers and businesses to know where to purchase genuine N95s and KN95s. However, there are many fake or poorly-contracted masks available online, mainly on Amazon. These fakes look so convincing that hospitals and state governments were forced to buy them last year. bought millionsSeveral counterfeit masks were sold, believing they were made by 3M.
N95s and KN95s are also a problem for consumers. Cheaper models can cost $1 or $2 a mask, some manufacturers say that people shouldn’t wear N95s for more than a few hours at a time. The CDC recommended that N95s be worn for no more than a few hours per day last year. health care workers only reuseN95s up-to five times. Keep the mask in a bag for at least five consecutive days. Only reuse masks in severe shortages.
Even if you follow these guidelines and only use masks for a few times before getting rid of them, it can add up. Workers may choose cloth masks that are less protective, but have been washed and reused many times during the pandemic to save money over the recurring costs of N95s or N95s.
If the government is serious about preventing the spread of the virus in the future, they should provide high-quality masks to the general public for free or at a low cost. progressive lawmakershave said. Members of Congress, and their staffers Are reportedly set up to receive KN95sIn response to Omicron, no such programs have been announced for the public. People are left to their own devices with no additional stimulus funds.
Sanders’s proposal comes as COVID-19 case numbers are skyrocketingThe country with the highest pandemic-related case rate was also the one that has suffered the most. According to The New York TimesOn Tuesday, more than 761,000 people tested positive for the virus. This is nearly 200 percent more than two weeks ago.
New cases are being driven nearly exclusively by the Omicron variant. The new variant appears to be more transmissible than the previous COVID versions. higher numbers of breakthrough casesEven in people who have been fully vaccinated, masking can still be effective even for those who have had their boosters. This means that masking is as important as ever, regardless of vaccination status.