The Biden administration is considering sending masks directly to American households, NBC News reported early Thursday.
A White House official told the publication that President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 response team is mulling mailing out face coverings, but no decision has been made on the proposal which was once considered by the Trump administration and later scrapped.
The proposal, which has been floated in several meetings among Biden’s top health experts, has also not yet reached Biden for approval.
But the idea could potentially gain traction with the president, who has reversed the hands-off attitude of his predecessor by pushing mask-wearing as a key defense against spreading coronavirus. Biden has also urged Americans to double down on wearing masks as part of a push to curb the spread of coronavirus in the first 100 days in his term.
During his first full day in office, Biden signed an executive order that required the donning of face coverings on federal property and in interstate travel, that was later expanded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to include requirements for masking on public transportation. The move breaks with former President Trump’s months-long resistance and politicization of masks.
If approved, it’s not clear when the masks would be sent out to Americans and how many would be allotted for each home. It’s also unclear if the Biden administration would mail out cloth or disposable masks — a question that would likely affect the project’s overall cost.
“There are a range of options on the table to help protect more Americans from the coronavirus and encourage people to mask up, but no decision has been made,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.