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A KN95 mask. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

The NBA will begin requiring players to wear KN95 or KF94 masks in all instances where masks are required (i.e. on the bench during games).

Why it matters: Many Americans are still grabbing the most available or comfortable masks, but not necessarily the most effective ones. Having the NBA's most visible stars wearing them could help send a message.

  • Plus, for a league that spent millions of dollars on daily testing and has rigorous protocols in place, not requiring high-quality masks is foolish.

The big picture: Don't be surprised if you start seeing more high-filtration masks like the KN95 and KF94, as experts push for increased production and usage.

"I think we should be making a harder push to boost manufacturing of high-quality masks and do more to get better masks in the hands of consumers. ... The new variants increase the urgency here."
— Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner, via WSJ

Go deeper: The difference between KN95 and K594 masks (NY Mag)

Go deeper

Updated Mar 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions — Exclusive: Teenagers' mental health claims doubled last spring.
  2. Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans' hopes rise after a year of COVID
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. World: China and Russia vaccinate the world, for now.
  5. Energy: Global carbon emissions rebound to pre-COVID levels.
  6. Local: Florida gets more good vaccine newsMinnesota's hunger problem grows amid pandemic — Denver's fitness industry eyes a pandemic recovery.
Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Americans increasingly see China as an enemy

One in three Americans, and a majority of Republicans, now view China as an enemy of the United States, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center.

By the numbers: Just 9% of Americans consider China a "partner," while 55% see Beijing as a "competitor" and 34% as an "enemy."

Scoop: Leaked HHS docs spotlight Biden's child migrant dilemma

A group of undocumented immigrants walk toward a Customs and Border Patrol station after being apprehended. Photo: Sergio Flores/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Fresh internal documents from the Department of Health and Human Services show how quickly the number of child migrants crossing the border is overwhelming the administration's stretched resources.

Driving the news: In the week ending March 1, the Border Patrol referred to HHS custody an average of 321 children per day, according to documents obtained by Axios. That's up from a weekly average of 203 in late January and early February — and just 47 per day during the first week of January.