“This is the largest deployment of personal protective equipment in U.S. history,” a White House official was quoted as saying in a report from Reuters on Wednesday. Per that report, the masks in question will be made available at pharmacies and community health centers starting next week, while the program is expected to be “fully up and running” by early next month.
In total, the government is set to make 400 million N95 masks available for free. Notably, the distribution of these masks is announced the same day as the formal launch of a website from which free at-home COVID-19 tests can be ordered. The latter has been criticized for its per-household limit, as well as over reports of certain apartment-related addresses not registering correctly within the USPS-associated system.
For context, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic way back in March of 2020. It’s now 2022, though you wouldn’t guess it from the confounding lack of progress that’s been made with regards to ensuring easy and equal access to tests and masks nationwide.
Complex has reached out to a White House rep for additional comment.