Biden COVID Team Debates Sending Masks to Everybody

Trump administration scrapped similar plan last year
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2021 9:20 AM CST
Biden Might Revive Plan to Send Masks to All Americans
Biden puts on his face mask after speaking during an event at The Queen theater, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Wilmington, Del.   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Last year, the Trump administration scrapped a plan to send masks to every household in America, worrying that receiving masks "might create concern or panic." The Biden administration is now considering reviving the idea, sources tell NBC. The sources say President Biden's COVID team has been discussing a plan and looking at logistics, but no firm proposal has been submitted to the president yet. Under the scrapped Trump administration plan, the United States Postal Service would have distributed 650 million reusable cotton masks to households starting last April. Most of the masks made for the "Project America Strong" initiative were given to state and nonprofit organizations.

"There are a range of options on the table to help protect more Americans from the coronavirus and encourage people to mask up, but no decision has been made," says White House press secretary Jen Psaki. In contrast to Donald Trump—who repeatedly mocked him for wearing a mask—Biden has unequivocally backed mask-wearing as a way to fight the pandemic and has made them mandatory on federal property. The National Park Service said Tuesday that it will require visitors to wear masks in buildings and on NPS-managed land "when physical distancing cannot be maintained," USA Today reports. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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