- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The Biden administration said Wednesday it will send 25 million masks to health centers and tens of thousands of food pantries and soup kitchens between March and May as part of the COVID-19 fight.

White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said anyone who needs a “quality, well-fitting” mask will be able to get one at no cost by walking into one of 1,300 community health centers or 60,000 food banks.

The program will focus on hard-hit communities where people might not have access to a suitable face covering. It will cost $86 million.

“We really believe this policy makes a lot of sense in that it allows people who are not able to, in some situations, find or afford a mask to get a mask. It’s part of our equity strategy and central to that,” Mr. Zients said.

He said the masks will be available in sizes for children and adults.

The masks will be washable, made in the U.S. and comply with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Recipients will be encouraged to take an individually wrapped package of two masks for their households, so the administration estimates 12 million to 15 million people will receive masks altogether.

The departments of Defense, Health and Human Services and Agriculture will administer the program.

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