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What to Know about the President’s Mask Giveaway Plan

Advocacy News – January 20, 2022

The Biden Administration announced yesterday that 400 million free non-surgical N-95 masks will be made available to locations across the country, including Michigan. The announcement comes after the Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicating last week that N-95 masks offer the most protection from the COVID-19 virus and its subsequent variants like the surging omicron.

As early as next week, Americans can go to their participating local pharmacy or community health center to receive three free non-surgical N-95 masks. However, the program isn’t anticipated to be in full swing until February. In addition, child-sized N-95 masks are expected to be available “in the near future.”

Some details and questions about the federal government’s plans remain:

  • Officials have said three free N95 masks will be available per adult, but it is unclear how many at a time or how and if these allotments will be tracked.
  • While the provided nonsurgical N95s are from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), there aren’t yet specifics on what brand or style of these masks will be provided.
  • Although the supply of N-95 masks has been questioned in recent months, the CDC has said that mask shortages are no longer a significant concern. Will there be a refill process of the SNS which requires something/someone to cover or absorb the cost of reimbursement or resupplying the stockpile?

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce will be monitoring this closely for any hidden costs to Michigan businesses and keep you up to date as more information unfolds.

For questions, please contact Leah Robinson at