*The Biden administration will make N95 masks available for free to U.S. residents starting this week.
The highly protective masks are recommended by the CDC to combat the omicron variant of COVID-19.
“This is the largest deployment of personal protective equipment in US history,” a White House official told CNN.
“To ensure broad access for all Americans, there will be three masks available per person. In addition to this program, thanks to the administration’s efforts, these high-quality masks are in ample supply and widely available to American consumers,” the official said.
Earlier this month, the CDC changed the mask guidelines, recommending that people “wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently.”
“Cloth masks are little more than facial decorations. There’s no place for them in light of Omicron,” CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen recently said on “CNN Newsroom.”
Per CNBC, here’s how to spot fake N95 masks:
For N95s, look for a NIOSH approval label that starts with TC and is followed by seven digits. KN95s and KF94s should not have that label, as they are not NIOSH-approved. Proper N95s should have straps that go around the head and an “approval holder” designation written on the mask, which should specify either the manufacturer or brand name of the product. Also look for a four-digit “part number” or “model number” on the mask. Without NIOSH approval, fake KN95s and KF94s are less easy to spot.