Amid mounting criticism, U.S. strengthens COVID-19 battle with better masks, free tests

2022-01-20 09:01:23Xinhua Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download
Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

The Joe Biden administration will make 400 million N95 masks available for free at thousands of locations across the country, a White House official said on Wednesday, as health experts stress the importance of high-quality face coverings to protect against the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The plan consists of working with pharmacies and community health centers to distribute the nonsurgical masks, which will come from the Strategic National Stockpile. The administration will begin shipments this week and hopes to have the program fully operational by early February.

Tom Inglesby, the administration's COVID-19 testing coordinator, said in an interview that "we know that these masks provide better protection than cloth masks," adding that the administration was "confident that people who want to access them will be able to access them."


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