Congressman Lipinski Introduces MASKS ON Act to Promote Public Awareness of PPE Benefits and Slow the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) Friday introduced the “MASKS ON Act,” Making Americans Savvy and Knowledgeable Safeguarding Ourselves from the Novel Coronavirus Act (H.R. 6653). The legislation directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to carry out a national public outreach and awareness campaign on the uses and benefits of personal protective equipment, or PPE, in minimizing the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. 

“People in Illinois and around the country are attempting to make the best decisions to protect their health and the health of their families and neighbors. The amount of the information and misinformation about how to best defend against this virus has left many feeling frustrated and overwhelmed,” said Congressman Lipinski. “The American people should have clear guidance on the benefits, uses, and limitations of masks and other forms of PPE in preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2. This legislation would help provide the public with information they need about the proper use of masks, the need to continue to maintain physical distance from others, and what masks can and cannot prevent.”

The bill requires the CDC to develop materials and publicly share information, including which types of PPE provide protection, proper techniques to put on, wear, and remove PPE, and the limitations of PPE in providing protection. The CDC may coordinate with other federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and state or local public health departments as appropriate.

Congressman Lipinski has worked directly with the bi-partisan House Problem Solvers Caucus in developing a “back-to-work” plan that sets out clear benchmarks for re-opening the American economy. Among the key provisions are requirements that health workers, K-12 students and educators, and other workplaces have sufficient supplies of PPE to help fight the continued spread of the novel coronavirus. 

New Executive Order provisions went into effect May 1st requiring Illinois residents over age two to put on face masks when going out in public, but many still lack the necessary information on the proper use of masks as well as their benefits and limitations. The MASKS ON Act would seek to remedy this problem and give clear guidance to the American public. 

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