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US may send masks to every American to encourage use against COVID

President Joe Biden has pleaded for Americans to wear masks during the first 100 days of his administration to help curb the spread of the virus.

WASHINGTON — Biden administration officials are weighing sending masks to every American as they hope to nudge individuals to do their part in lowering coronavirus transmission rates. White House chief of staff Ron Klain said in an interview with NBC News that administration officials are looking at using mask supplies that the government already has in its stockpile.

Klain said that the administration hopes to make an announcement on a potential move “in the next few days or next week.”

Biden has pleaded for Americans to wear masks during the first 100 days of his administration. It’s a step he said could help save thousands of lives as Americans await their turn to be vaccinated.

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That effort comes as some state and local governments continue to push against mask mandates. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued a new statewide mask order Thursday an hour after the Republican-controlled Legislature voted to repeal his previous mandate.

The Democrat Evers said in a video message that his priority is keeping people safe and that wearing a mask was the most basic way to do that.

Republicans who voted to repeal the order said Evers was exceeding his authority by issuing new public health emergencies rather than having the Legislature approve extensions. The repeal hadn’t even taken effect before Evers issued a new one.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is weighing a case that could settle the issue.

Credit: AP
President-elect Joe Biden departs a news conference after introducing his nominees and appointees to economic policy posts at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)