Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten Welcomes Biden-Harris Mask Distribution Plan

For Release:


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement on the Biden administration’s plan to distribute masks:

“The changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear the importance of being nimble, fast-acting and responsive when it comes to public health and safety, and today’s announcement from the White House does just that. The plan to get 400 million N95s for free public distribution is an important investment in our fight against the highly transmissible omicron variant. It will go a long way toward ensuring adults have access to high-quality, well-fitting masks to keep themselves, their families and our communities safe. The ongoing effort to secure and disseminate high-quality children’s masks will further our fight against the virus too. Indoor masking is extremely important to limit the spread of COVID-19, and it works best when everyone wears one.

“As we grapple with the latest COVID-19 surge, Americans are eager to protect themselves and their families, and to do their part to keep our school buildings open, prevent our hospitals from overcrowding and sustain our economic recovery. But too many face obstacles when it comes to accessing critical COVID-19 mitigations, including tests and well-fitting masks. Thankfully, the federal government has stepped up to make these resources available, showing leadership in this ongoing crisis by ensuring the American people have access to the science-based protections they need to stay healthy.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.