Washington, February 24: US President Joe Biden on Wednesday (local time) announced new actions to deliver face masks to communities hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic in the country. According to the White House Fact Sheet, Biden announced that, over the next few weeks, his administration will deliver masks to community health centres and distribute the masks through the nation's food bank and food pantry system.

"As part of his National Strategy to defeat COVID-19, President Biden announced a new effort to make masks more easily available to communities hard hit by the pandemic. The Administration will deliver more than 25 million masks to over 1,300 Community Health Centers across the country as well as 60,000 food pantries and soup kitchens, reaching some of the nation's most vulnerable populations," the White House said. US President Joe Biden to Hold Candle Lighting Ceremony in Memory of COVID-19 Victims Today.

"The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD), will deliver millions of masks to Federally Qualified Community Health Centers across the country. These approximately 1,300 health centers will be eligible to receive high-quality masks for free. Two-thirds of the people served by Community Health Centers are living in poverty, 60 per cent are racial and/or ethnic minorities, and nearly 1.4 million are unhoused," the White House said.

"Anyone in the community will be eligible to pick up masks from their local Community Health Center. Recipients will be encouraged to take an individually wrapped package of two masks for each person in their household. The staff of the Community Health Centers will distribute the masks to recipients," it added.

The White House said that the DOD, working with the Department of Agriculture (USDA), will deliver masks to many of the nation's roughly 300 food banks.

"These food banks reach a vast network of 60,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, and other food distribution points where masks will be distributed to individuals and families. Recipients will be encouraged to take an individually wrapped package of two masks for each person in their household," it added.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the US has reported over 28.2 million cases and 502,837 deaths from the pathogen.

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