Trump administration scrapped plan to send every American a mask in April, email shows
Sep 17, 2020 1 min, 3 secs

WASHINGTON — The White House scrapped an effort to send hundreds of millions of cloth masks to every U.S.

household in April, choosing instead to distribute the masks to nonprofit organizations and state and federal agencies, according to an internal email from a senior Trump administration official obtained by NBC News.

In the email, a senior HHS official says that the "White House" made the decision not to move forward and that, instead, the masks would be manufactured and distributed to businesses, state and federal agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Asked why the White House scrapped household distribution, an HHS spokesperson did not respond to the question, saying instead: "Cloth face masks are now widely available from a number of vendors and easily accessible to the American public.

The White House did not respond on the record to a request for comment.

HHS signed contracts with a group of textile manufacturers in early May for $640 million to make masks under Project America Strong, according to federal purchase records

The largest contract went to Hanes, which made 450 million masks in May and July, according to a company news release

As part of the effort to distribute the masks under Project America Strong, HHS set up a website where Americans could request a box of 500 masks each

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