In his first act as President as promised, signed literally the same day of the inauguration, Biden made dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic his top priority with an executive order mask mandate requiring Americans to wear masks of any choice in public and also requires the use of a mask on all federal property. Studies have shown, however, that if Americans really want to move forward from the pandemic, N95 masks are the way to do it. 

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The masks are considered the gold standard for personal protective equipment because they block nearly 95% of large and small particles with its unique electrostatic filter. The masks are roughly $5, and fit securely on the face, eliminating most bacteria leakage from occurring. Experts like Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School physician Dr. Abraar Karan have spoken out about the power of the masks, advocating for their use since the start of the pandemic. 

“If for four weeks the country essentially wore these masks in those risky settings like that indoors, what kind of difference do you think it would make?” asked CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta to the physician.

This would stop the epidemic,” Karan responded. She continued to explain, “We know now that aerosols spread best when there is poor ventilation, crowding and close contact that’s prolonged. So we were arguing that actually in those settings, cloth masks alone are not going to block aerosols.”

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The biggest problem with these N95 masks is the lack of supply, and the Biden administration plans to boost the manufacturing of the N95 masks and other critical supplies to help end the pandemic sooner than later. The United States has surpassed 25 million COVID-19 cases while reaching more than 400,000 virus-related deaths.