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Sanders Joins Over 50 Democrats in Introducing Legislation to Send N95 Masks to Every American

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 Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joined more than 50 of his Democratic colleagues in reintroducing “lifesaving legislation to manufacture and distribute highly-protective N95 masks to every person in America.”

The Masks for All Act was first introduced in 2020. Fifteen senators co-sponsored the act.

“As we face the rapidly spreading omicron variant, we should remember that not all face masks are created equal,” Sanders said in a statement.

He added, “Congress must demand the mass production and distribution of N95 masks, one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the Covid virus.”

Sanders called it a “scandal” that in the “richest country in the history of the world, high-quality masks are not more readily available to frontline workers, health care workers, and all Americans.”

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He continued, “We are proposing that we do what our public health experts and scientists say we must do: provide all of our people with high-quality, N95 masks without cost, which could prevent death and suffering and save huge amounts of health care dollars.”

The legislation would require the government to use “all available authorities, including the Defense Production Act, to eliminate shortages of N95 respirator masks and distribute them to the public as soon as possible.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is considering updating its mask guidance to suggest individuals wear N95 masks.

“The agency is currently actively looking to update its recommendations for KN95 and N95 in light of omicron,” an official said to The Washington Post. “We know these masks provide better filtration.”

Should people wear N95 masks regularly?

The post noted, as of December 29, there were 747 million N95 masks in the national stockpile.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has previously avoided recommending Americans wear them on a regular basis.

“If people want extra layers of protection, the KN95 or N95s do offer that,” Walensky said in December. “But what I also want to really emphasize is that you need to be able to keep them on for when you’re in those settings. Those KN95 and N95s are often not as comfortable.”

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