For much of 2020, many of us noticed that while Joe Biden and Donald Trump said different things about the pandemic, their policy proposals were more or less the same. Biden’s much touted plan included a lot of generically worded proposals, like “ensure the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority are swiftly accelerating the development of rapid diagnostic tests, therapeutics and medicines, and vaccines” and “work with the CDC and HHS to ensure that health departments and health providers across the country give every person access to an advice line or interactive online advice.”
Biden avoided saying dumb things like the virus “is going to disappear,” the way Trump did. He instead said different dumb things, like, “I’m not going to shut down the country. I’m not going to shut down the economy. I’m going to shut down the virus.”
This morning, the Biden administration is unveiling another, er, “solution”:
The Biden White House is considering sending masks directly to American households, according to three people familiar with the discussions, an action the Trump administration explored but scrapped . . .
It’s unclear when the masks would go out to the public, how many would be included per residence and whether they would be disposable or made of cloth. It’s also not yet clear what the cost could be.
Is a lack of access to masks really the problem in this country? Are people not wearing them because they can’t find them or afford them? Judging from the grocery-store parking lots of America, we have a surplus of masks and people leave used masks all over the place. Masks are available for free from state governments, county health departments, local governments, retirement homes, car dealerships . . .
A federally run mask-distribution program feels like a solution in search of a problem.