January 20, 2022

Cortez Masto Applauds Move to Distribute Free Masks to Americans, Urges Administration to Prioritize Purchase and Distribution of Made in America Masks

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) in sending letters to President Joe Biden, Architect of the Capitol J. Brett Blanton, and Secretary of the Senate Sonceria Ann Berry, urging them to prioritize the purchase of masks made in the U.S. with U.S. materials. Senator Cortez Masto and her colleagues are pushing to ensure that American taxpayer dollars are being spent on American products made by American workers. 

The letter follows this morning’s announcement by President Biden that he is following through on his commitment to provide hundreds of millions of high-quality masks at no-cost to Americans, and that the first distribution of masks will come as soon as next week from masks that are currently housed in the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). This letter urges the President to ensure future purchases – including those to replenish the SNS and those to support access to free masks for children – prioritize masks made in the U.S. with U.S. materials.

 “Purchasing NIOSH approved N95 respirators and other high-quality masks, such as FDA-authorized surgical masks, made by American workers here in the U.S. advances our shared goals for supporting domestic manufacturing and ensuring a more reliable, consistent supply chain for these essential products. Doing so not only helps to prevent further loss of life, keep our kids in school, and ensure our economy remains open, but it will also ensure that the United States maintains a robust PPE manufacturing capacity so that we are never again in a situation where we must be dependent on foreign-made products, like we were in the early days of the pandemic,” the senators wrote in their letter to the President. 

“We write to share our frustration with the decision to provide members of the U.S. House of Representatives with KN95 masks made in China. We strongly urge you to take clear steps that ensure future mask purchases and orders for other essential products and personal protective equipment (PPE) prioritize products made in the U.S. using U.S. materials made by American workers,” the senators wrote in their letter to the Architect of the Capitol.

The full text of the letter to President Biden is available HERE.

The full text of the letter to the Architect of the Capitol is available HERE.