The White House announced a plan Wednesday to ship more than 25 million masks to more than 60,000 locations across the country where any American can pick them up free of charge.
Jeff Zients, President Joe Biden’s top coronavirus adviser, opened Wednesday’s COVID-19 press briefing with the announcement. The shipping destinations will include roughly 1,300 Community Health Centers and 60,000 food banks where they can be distributed to any American. (RELATED: White House Announces New CDC ‘Well-Fitting’ Mask Guidance)
Zients told reporters that the cloth masks will be “well-fitting,” machine washable, come in both adult and children’ sizes, made in the United States and have been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The announcement comes after the Biden administration contemplated reviving a Trump administration proposal to send masks to every household in the country through the United States Postal Service.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday night that the administration had scrapped the proposal in favor of a more targeted plan, the same decision the Trump administration made after first contemplating the idea in April of 2020. The Trump administration opted instead to send masks and other personal protective equipment items to frontline health and other essential workers.
Zients also announced Wednesday that the Food and Drug administration had deemed that Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine candidate was safe, and should they formally grant the company an Emergency Use Authorization in time, the White House expects to begin shipping at least 4 million doses to states next week.
You can watch Wednesday’s entire briefing below.
This is a developing story and will be updated with new information as it becomes available.