Joe Biden’s government is pushing the public with cash prizes to address some of the downfall of facial covering to further encourage people to mask themselves – despite launching a $ 10 million ad campaign urging Americans to get vaccinated.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) launched a $ 500,000 competition on Wednesday to combat the dangers of wearing a mask, such as fogged glasses or irritated skin.
“To address these issues and accelerate the development of the next generation of masks, BARDA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are teaming up to launch the Mask Innovation Challenge: Building Tomorrow’s Mask,” HHS announced.
However, the contest comes, as Biden announced last week that all American adults will be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine by April 19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already released new guidelines last week claiming that inoculated individuals do not need to wear masks when they are with others who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
President Biden has been criticized for still wearing a mask despite full vaccination and usually gathering with others who received the injection.
The Department of Health and Human Services is spending $ 500,000 on a competition asking people to correct the annoyance of masks that keep Americans from complying with mandates
At the same time, Biden’s government launched a $ 10 million ad campaign to push Americans to get vaccinated
The CDC released guidelines last week stating that those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can gather with other fully vaccinated individuals
This has led to criticism of Biden for continuing to wear a mask despite being fully vaccinated and usually gathering with others who also received the injection.
Biden had been fully vaccinated for more than two months when he received his second dose of Pfizer vaccine on January 11. According to the CDC, people are believed to be fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second vaccination shot.
The president announced the government’s goal last month: total vaccination in the US and possible return to ‘normalcy’ by the July 4 celebrations.
Biden’s government launched a $ 10 million ad campaign Thursday in its first television effort to get the public vaccinated.
The two moves of improving masks and pushing vaccinations apparently open two parallel but contracting tracks in the government’s coronavirus response – possibly adding to the public confusion over the mixed coverage.
The ‘We Can Do This’ campaign will air nationally and on social media, according to The Washington Post, and will include multimillion-dollar ads targeting black and Spanish-language media.
In addition to the ad purchase, the administration is also rolling out on social media new pro vaccine images that people can use to frame their profile pictures, which Facebook will promote.
The CDC, along with other health experts and organizations, claims that total vaccination will end the need for facial coverage and social detachment used over the past year to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
It’s unclear why Biden wants to improve masks as they likely will no longer be needed once Americans are vaccinated and the government’s goal of returning “ normalcy ” remains on July 4, 2021.
A HHS Public Health Emergency webpage dedicated to the mask enhancement competition stated: ‘The Mask Innovation Challenge aims to improve the comfort, usability and protective properties of products worn during everyday activities by the general public when physical distance is not possible.’
“This competition aims to support the development of mask designs that meet defined performance standards while removing barriers to use,” he continued.
Anyone can enter the competition, which lasts a minimum of six months – a long time ago when many expect masks may no longer be needed.
In phase one of the competition, the 40 best ideas are selected to advance to the ‘pitch competition’, where they present their design to a panel of experts.
After that, the 10 best entries will be selected and each will receive a prize of $ 10,000.
Finalists will advance to the proof-of-concept phase, where federal and partner labs will test the masks and select a winner whose prize will total $ 400,000.
HHS claims in the competition announcement that there are several ‘barriers reducing mask compliance’ that the masks can focus on for improvement.
These ideas include, but are not limited to, preventing glasses from fogging up while wearing face masks, addressing skin issues that are evolving such as contact dermatitis, finding better ways to communicate while wearing face masks, or making sure they fit better on the face.