Several Democratic lawmakers are calling on President Joe Biden to increase the supply and availability of higher quality masks, and to encourage the education of the public on which masks are most effective.
In a letter published Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Ro Khanna of California urged Biden to “consider invoking the Defense Production Act to increase the supply of higher quality masks, including N95 or other medical grade masks.”
The letter recommends the use of the United States Postal Service to distribute the highest quality medical-grade masks and the creation of pick-up locations in local communities.
The lawmakers also ask Biden to direct the CDC and FDA to “provide the public with clear, actionable, and specific information on how to discern which masks are most effective and where they can get them, as well as how to utilize existing options.”
“While many Americans understand that wearing a mask can help prevent transmission of the disease, many don’t realize that a high-quality mask can make it far less likely that the wearer will contract the disease, even if exposed to an infectious person,” the letter reads.