A group of US physicians has written an open letter calling on the incoming Biden administration to manufacture and mail high-filtration masks to homes across America.
The letter, which was first published on the STAT health news website Thursday, also calls for a national mask initiative, as transmission of the coronavirus surges in the US.
The group argues that while cloth and surgical masks provide some level of protection, high filtration (hi-fi) masks, like the N95, ensure a higher level of filtration and are considered the gold-standard in protection against small virus carrying particles.
Ideally, a set of masks would be mailed to each household every month -- the costs of doing so pale in comparison to the pandemic's toll on lives and the economy,” the authors write.
The authors of the letter include Drs. Abraar Karan and Ranu Dhillon of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, along with Devabhaktuni Srikrishna, founder of Patient Knowhow, a patient education platform.
It encourages the incoming Biden team to use the Defense Production Act to immediately scale up manufacturing of high-filtration masks for distribution to the American public.
Hi-fi masks such as N95s substantially reduce the chance of spread while in direct close contact with those who are infected,” the letter states.
Dr. Karan told CNN that masks are more critical than ever, as newly discovered variants of the coronavirus appear to be more transmissible.
“Masks aren’t affected by change in variants,” he said.
The US reported 253,145 new Covid-19 cases and 3,865 new deaths on Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
CNN is tracking coronavirus' spread across the country here: