President Joe Biden plans to distribute 400 million N95 face masks to pharmacies and community sites across the nation.
The masks will be sourced from the government's Strategic National Stockpile and distributed for free, insiders familiar with the plan told Politico.
The initiative is part of Biden's effort to ensure the Americans have access to 'more-protective' masks as some states are experiencing a surge in COVID cases.
It comes after public health experts and former Biden transition advisers in recent weeks have pushed the White House to take action as people struggle to find affordable and genuine N95s.
Biden is expected to formally announce the plan on Wednesday, as well as discuss the administration's efforts to slow the surge and increase COVID testing.
President Joe Biden (pictured last Thursday) plans to distribute millions of N95 face masks to pharmacies and community sites across the nation as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to surge
The masks will be sourced from the 737 million N95 masks in the government's Strategic National Stockpile and distributed for free
Last week, Biden signaled that he would soon be announcing a plan to distribute free face masks to citizens, acknowledging 'high-quality masks' are not always accessible to everyone.
'I know for some Americans the mask is not always affordable or convenient to get,' he said Thursday.
'I know we all wish that we could finally be done with wearing masks. I get it. But they're a really important tool to stop the spread, especially of a highly transmittable Omicron variant,.'
The president also pushed citizens to 'please, please wear the mask.'
The government has 737 million N95 masks in its national stockpile, HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O'Connell revealed Tuesday.
The initiative is part of Biden's effort to ensure the American people have access to 'more-protective' masks as the US reports a record number of positive cases
The government also quietly launched its covidtests.gov website Tuesday which allows each American household to have four at-home COVID-19 shipped directly to their residence
He said the masks were sourced from 12 domestic manufacturers with whom officials are working to secure ongoing contracts at the current production volume.
'We are also in the process of putting out an agreement for warm base manufacturing so we're able to keep this capacity that we currently have going, even when demand diminishes,' O'Connell testified