The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its guidance on masks for the public, now saying that cloth masks do not protect against COVID-19. Their updated guidance states “people can choose respirators such as N95s and KN95s,” because they offer the best protection against Covid-19.”
As of January 5, 2022, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is requiring masks to be worn in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccine status, until February 15, 2022. Specifically, the CDPH requires “surgical masks or higher-level respirators (e.g., N95s, KN95s, KF94s) with good fit are recommended.”
Despite no masking requirements at previous NFL football games, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced Tuesday attendees at the February 13, 2022 Super Bowl LVI will be required to wear KN95 masks while at the game at SoFi stadium, unless they are eating or drinking. KN95 masks will be mandatory and distributed to fans with standard COVID protocols expected to be followed, the Daily Mail reported. Expect to see 100,000 discarded masks in the stands at the end of the game.
California school children are now required to ditch the cloth mask and wear a N95 or KN95 mask, and public schools are handing these out.
President Joe Biden even announced last week his administration was giving away 400 million N95 masks from the Strategic National Stockpile to all Americans who request them.
Last week, following the latest mask order, China-made KN95 masks were distributed to congressional offices, with House Republicans demanding answers from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Newsweek reported.
That triggered more than 120 GOP lawmakers to send a letter to Pelosi describing their “disbelief and outrage” that the masks were being handed out “when American alternatives are available.”
Speaker Pelosi sent out N-95 masks to every House office. Unfortunately, I can’t read the instructions. pic.twitter.com/4nDTTkayFQ
— Bryan Steil (@BryanSteil) January 20, 2022
“That letter says if members are required to wear masks officials should ‘at least respect the institution and the taxpayers enough not to line the pockets of our adversary whose actions led to the current pandemic.'”
The letter continues: “Under your tenure, you have closed the Capitol to the American people, implemented COVID-19 protocols in the House that conflict with the Senate, and now, you have handed out masks from China when American alternatives are available, Newsweek reported.
“Quite simply, there is no reason that our elected officials and government workers should be given KN95 masks manufactured in China.”
The CDC even has a page dedicated to “Factors to Consider When Planning to Purchase Respirators from Another Country, Including KN95 Respirators from China.”
I wonder if @SpeakerPelosi knew before she purchased and distributed KN95 masks which prominently say “MADE IN CHINA,” that a Florida company is currently making 2 million N95 masks a day, employing 350 Americans. #BuyAmerican #MakeAmerican https://t.co/1e8w8ewfom pic.twitter.com/DaVEII8IfA
— Bill Posey (@congbillposey) January 19, 2022
Remember when Gov. Gavin Newsom approved spending $1 Billion of taxpayers funds in April 2020 on 200 million masks a month from Chinese company BYD, a major global player in the electric vehicle and lithium battery markets, but not a mask manufacturer. BYD had no history of making personal protective equipment, and yet days after the hasty FDA approval, it secured a $1 billion deal to supply masks to California.
The Globe asked, “Is Newsom going to broker the masks to other states? Why does California need 200 million masks a month?”
Clouding up the deal even more, Vice reported. “Soon after the FDA cleared the way for imports of KN95s, California also relaxed its standards, noting KN95 masks ‘may be an acceptable alternative’ due to the supply shortage, the state’s Department of Health records show.”
However, a serious issue at the time was California lawmakers were not privy to details of the $1 Billion contracts signed by Gov. Newsom with BYD. They sent him a letter demanding details of the agreement, saying there has been too little transparency in spending those massive taxpayer dollars.
Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), who was chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee at the time, sent the tersely worded letter to Newsom’s Director of Finance. Mitchell asked for details on the contract Newsom signed to buy 200 million masks per month through an American subsidiary of the Chinese company. That demand went nowhere.
A letter to parents from the San Dieguito Union High School District raised eyebrows even more warning that the masks handed out to kids in school have been recalled:
“N95 Mask Update: According to the California Office of Emergency Services, the state was recently informed that certain N95 masks sourced from BYD Precision Manufacture Co., Ltd. have an issue with particle filtration efficiency. The state is advising all customers who may have received these respirators to inspect and return any nonconforming units.”
The 120 members of Congress had it right: “Quite simply, there is no reason that our elected officials and government workers should be given KN95 masks manufactured in China.