Coronavirus Response Coordinator
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
NW Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. Zients,
We are public health experts, health care providers, and concerned individuals, joining forces with Marked By COVID, a grassroots non-profit led by people severely harmed by COVID, to demand a stronger federal response to minimize the spread and impact of SARS-Cov-2.
We are asking you to mail an ample and continuous supply of free rapid at-home tests and N95-quality masks to every household in America twice a month through May 2022, with additional supplies sent to first responders, healthcare workers, and public centers in our most impacted communities.
Testing protects people from getting sick and becoming disabled or dying. While we applaud the intent in President Biden’s pledge to make 500 million rapid tests available through a website in the New Year, it is not nearly enough: website-driven sign-ups place the burden on individuals and create unnecessary barriers and delays, often for those with the fewest resources (ie. people in areas lacking internet access, digital literacy, or language proficiency). The most efficient, equitable, and effective path, requires removing all barriers to access as quickly as possible.
High-quality masks are also necessary to keep the virus at bay. We know that fully vaccinated and boosted individuals can be vectors, contributing to the infection of vulnerable community members and the evolution of new variants. Additionally, research demonstrates that vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals suffer from Long COVID, which can result in a lifetime of disability.
Marked By COVID’s main goal is to prevent more people from going through what we’ve gone through. Testing and masking are critical tools to slowing the spread, protecting others, and limiting the number of individuals disabled or made chronically ill by the pandemic.
As the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, we need you to implement a national, coordinated COVID-19 response that includes an ample and continuous supply of free rapid at-home tests and N95-quality masks for all. These supplies must be accompanied by federal guidance on data-driven state and local mask and testing policies that mitigate risk from unavoidable gatherings and bolster the effectiveness of current vaccination efforts.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
White House Covid-19 Response Team:
_ Joe Biden, President of the United States of America
_ Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States
_ Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Adviser for COVID Response
_ David A. Kessler, Chief Science Officer of COVID Response
_ Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, Surgeon General of the United States
_ Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
_ Tim Manning, Supply Coordinator
_ Carole Johnson, Testing Coordinator
_ Dr. Cyrus Shahpar, Data Director
_ Clarke Humphrey, Digital Director
_ Ben Wakana, Director of Strategic Communications and Engagement
_ Eduardo Cisneros, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
_ Abbe Gluck, Special Counsel
_ Natalie Quillian, Deputy Covid-19 Response Coordinator
Cedric Richmond, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States
Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Alison Barkoff, Principal Deputy Administrator, Administration for Community Living at HHS
Robinsue Frohboese, Principal Deputy Director, Office of Civil Rights at HHS
Molly Pierce-Doris, Special Assistant to the Director, Intergovernmental & External Affairs, HHS
Emily Voorde, Associate Director, Office of Public Engagement, White House
Rachel Weiss, Director of Communications, Office of Intergovernmental & External Affairs, HHS