White House Working on Possible Mass Mailing of Masks

Carolyn Crist

February 24, 2021

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

President Joe Biden says the federal government will "probably" start mailing face masks directly to Americans as a way to hold down coronavirus infections and deaths.

During a Tuesday roundtable event with Black frontline workers, Biden said, "We're probably going to be sending out an awful lot of masks around the country very shortly, millions of them," according to CNN.

"We want to get this back on track," White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said in an interview. "We're looking at what can be done to quickly do this with the mask supplies that we have. I hope in the next few days or next week, we can perhaps announce some progress on this."

Biden said he was upset that face masks had become a political issue.

"We could have saved literally an awful lot of lives if people had listened," Biden said. "We turned wearing masks into a political statement. If you were for this thing, you wore it, if we were for somebody else, you didn't wear it, when in fact, it's just plain basic science."

Former President Trump often derided the idea of face masks even though he was hospitalized after contracting the virus.

The postal service considered the idea of mailing 650 million masks last April but the Trump White House killed the idea because it might create public panic, the Washington Post reported.

Members of the Biden administration first mentioned the idea of mailing out masks earlier this month, NBC reported.