The Government Hoarded 750 Million N95 Masks While Telling You To Wear One

The White House will announce its plans to deliver approximately 400 million N95 high-quality masks to health care centers and pharmacies across the nation later today. The masks will then be made available for everyone who requests one.

According to the Associated Press, the goal of the initiative is to inspire Americans to use cloth masks to protect themselves against COVID-19’s Omicron variant. At least some individuals will gladly swap their existing masks out for free N95s in places where mandatory mask wearing is a requirement of government policy.

We will know the outcome if “free masks”, which is a plan to distribute “free” vaccines, tracks back earlier plans. While some pharmacies may run out of supplies immediately, others will have stock for the next pandemic.

However, the timing seems wrong. You can see the problem. The New York TimesDavid Leonhardt reports today that Omicron has been forced to retreat. It would have been more sensible for the White House, months before omicron arrived in the United States to direct the distribution of the masks.

This raises serious concerns about the stockpile of national masks, which is reported to contain 750 million masks. This is what they will be distributed to, and not on the basis that there is a need. What is the purpose of having an emergency stockpile? The markets are well-equipped to handle the distribution of N95 Masks.

Why is it that the government has a cache of 750 millions masks? For two years Where mask shortages were a problem that has recurred? Keep in mind, every mask that went into the federal stockpile—that is, every mask that will now be made available “for free” via the White House’s new program—is a mask that could have Already in use weeks or even months ago.

In fairness, it doesn’t seem like the stockpile was that large in March 2020—PoliticoReports claim that Federal officials “have been working to replenish” the stockpile ever since the outbreak of Covid-19. However, it is worth questioning whether replenishing the stockpile in this time of ongoing pandemic was the most efficient use of federal resources. For months, Biden and his top public health officials have been urging Americans to wear N95 (or the similar KN95) masks as a defense against the omicron variant, while apparently also removing millions of masks from the marketplace in order to replenish a federal stockpile—as if having a few hundred million masks in storage for a future pandemic is more important than using them to fight the current one.

America manufactured an estimated 1 billion masks last year. This means that we are not experiencing the same severe shortages as the outbreak. Masks aren’t as easily available, however. Last year, it was reported that many Americans used counterfeit N95s to avoid the hassle of purchasing genuine N95s.

Last week was the last. PoliticoBiden noted that obtaining quality masks can still be difficult for many people. His administration should be held responsible for creating this problem. Why did the federal government accumulate masks when these masks were in high demand?

It was a time shift that made it possible to increase the supply of masks. That’s because a stockpile does exactly what it is supposed to: Shift the resources availability from low demand and high supply to times when they are scarce.

This time shift is certainly not productive. After the omicron waves, hundreds of millions are being made available by the White House in masks. seems to have crested and started to recedeMany parts of the United States are affected. They are unlikely to arrive in health clinics or pharmacies until February, if the process of distributing masks from the federal inventory takes longer than the White House’s plan distribution of COVID testing for free.

It begs the question: Would Americans do better if there were more N95 masks on sale in December, October and November than in February? The Biden administration seems not to favor this equation.