Biden officials split by message over N95 masks for all of them

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its directive on Friday, saying Americans could "choose" to wear the N95 and KN95

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As Covid-19 cases increase, senior management officials of Biden are divided over how to encourage Americans to wear the most refined mask such as the N95 respirators, as they come under increasing pressure from public health professionals to urge people to change masks. which provide better protection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its directive on Friday, saying Americans could "choose" to wear the N95 and KN95 masks because they offer the best protection against Covid-19. But the organization is adamant that people should choose one mask over others.

The White House has signed a declaration intending to move forward. President Joe Biden, who has been wearing the N95 mask for weeks, said on Thursday he planned to make "high quality masks" available to Americans free of charge, without elaborating. Some inside the White House have been demanding that the coalition government send a N95 mask to every American, said one person who participated in the talks.

As cases and hospitalization have escalated due to the omicron variant, the public health officials have criticized officials for not doing enough to encourage Americans to wear the N95 or KN95 mask, which they say could significantly reduce infections compared to fabric masks. But a CDC directive on Friday said the organization "continues to recommend wearing the most protective mask you can wear that fits well and will always wear it."

Biden plans to make the 'high-quality mask' more widely available and free for the American people

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Inside the White House, surgeon General Vivek Murthy was one of those demanding the distribution of N95 masks, which included sending one to every American, said one participant in the negotiations. But others, including CDC officials, have rejected the idea of ​​mass distribution of N95 masks, the man said.

The debate marks the latest split in Biden's top health officials. Last month, Biden's chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, appeared to contradict the revised CDC guidelines which say people with the virus can leave on their own after five days without a Covid test. There have been disagreements over the summer over how and when a gun should be found, with Biden's top medical advisers parting ways with Food and Drug Administration officials.

The Biden administration struggled throughout the epidemic with their recommendations surrounding the mask, which quickly became a place of political divisions. The CDC has told Americans who have been vaccinated in the spring that they are free to go without a mask before postponing the recommendation in July, even telling vaccinated people to wear masks in areas where the virus is widespread.

Since the advent of the omicron variant, Biden has increased his calls for people to wear a mask in the house, but has stopped advising them to wear the N95 mask, something he, the vice-president and senior management officials wore in public and surrounding areas. White House halls for churches.

"I know we all wish we could end up wearing a mask, I get it," Biden said Thursday. "But obviously it is not really the most important tool to stop the spread, especially the highly contagious omicron version. So please wear a mask."

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said management would have more details next week on how to get a free mask, adding that they had released more than 30 million masks from food banks and public health facilities.

Biden administration officials have asked for advice in recent weeks from outside medical experts who have given a number of recommendations, including allowing people to use the new website administrators for free Covid testing at home to request a N95 mask, one person said. A team of medical experts who advised Biden during the transition publicly urged the White House last week to give Americans a voucher to buy a private mask from a retailer.

There were also differences outside the White House on how to benefit from the N95 mask and how far management should go in recruiting people to wear it, with some public health experts recommending that the mask be sent to everyone in the area. the world and others warn that it will be a waste of resources.

"There is no doubt that a high quality mask can make a difference, protecting myself and many other health professionals from significant exposure to hospitals and clinics," said Drs. Kavita Patel, former Obama administration adviser. "However, management will need to be aware of extremes of prominence in the outcome of such actions. We are already seeing cases of crime in some parts of the world. High quality masks are important but when it comes to controlling the omicron, it is like bringing an umbrella to a Class 5 storm. ”

Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease specialist who advises Biden's transformation, said he was pressuring managers this past year to tighten their recommendations on the mask. He said he supported the idea of ​​sending the N95 mask to every American, and that the CDC's recommendations needed to clarify the benefits of wearing the N95 mask over a canvas or surgical mask.