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Neal, Pascrell Praise Biden Administration’s Decision to Deliver Masks to Communities Hit Hard by the Pandemic

Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) applauded the Biden Administration’s announcement of urgent actions to deliver masks to communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We applaud the Biden Administration’s efforts to make masks more easily available to communities most impacted by the pandemic,” said Chairmen Neal and Pascrell. “The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and the science is clear: masks work. Last year, we were appalled by the previous administration’s decision to reject a straightforward approach to deliver masks to every household in America. We are glad to see the Biden Administration take seriously the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s face mask recommendation as a key tool in slowing the spread of this virus, and appreciate the focus on prioritizing hard-hit communities. As we know, many low-income Americans unfortunately still lack access to this basic protection, and it is our duty to get them the help they need.” 

According to a statement from the White House, the reusable, American-made masks will be available beginning in March and into May, and an estimated 12 to 15 million Americans will receive masks. In total, more than 25 million masks are expected to be distributed nationwide. 

Chairmen Neal and Pascrell have been consistent advocates of sending reusable face masks to Americans, particularly those in the hardest-hit communities. Last September, the Chairmen sent a letter to then-U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar requesting more information on the Trump Administration’s decision to block the United States Postal Service (USPS) from sending reusable face masks to every American.

The full letter to then-HHS Secretary Azar is available HERE.

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