Extra Masks, COVID Checks, and Troops to Battle Omicron

Jan. 13, 2022 — President Joe Biden introduced Thursday the U.S. authorities will make free, upgraded face masks out there for ordering on-line beginning subsequent week.

As well as, he’s ordering 500 million extra speedy COVID-19 checks to fulfill future demand and deploying extra navy groups to assist overwhelmed hospitals in hardest-hit states.

These actions are a part of a “whole-of-government” response to the surge in COVID-19 circumstances and hospitalizations related to the Omicron variant.

Upgraded Masks

Biden’s plan goals to make getting upgraded masks simpler for Individuals.

“I’ve taken each motion I can as president to require folks to put on masks in federal buildings and on airplanes and trains,” the president stated. Nonetheless, “I do know that for some Individuals, a masks shouldn’t be at all times reasonably priced or handy to get.”

With that in thoughts, subsequent week, the White Home will announce how folks can order high-quality masks, together with N95s, on-line, without cost, on a brand new web site.

Biden estimated that about one-third of Individuals say they by no means put on a masks, a statistic he is hoping to vary.

The president additionally acknowledged the pandemic fatigue many individuals have.

“All of us want that we might lastly be finished with sporting masks, I get it,” he stated. “However they’re a extremely necessary instrument to cease the unfold, particularly [of] the extremely transmittable Omicron variant.”

One Billion Checks

Within the 10-minute deal with, Biden additionally introduced plans to order 500 million extra at-home speedy COVID-19 checks to fulfill demand. The order comes on high of the five hundred million checks the federal government already ordered.

Doing the mathematics, the president famous the present and future provide means there might be a billion checks “being acquired to ship to your properties without cost.”

Biden additionally identified that speedy at-home checks weren’t out there when he took workplace. In distinction, “we’ll have over 375 million at-home speedy checks in January alone. That is an enormous leap,” he stated.

Within the meantime, his administration will work with on-line retailers to make extra checks out there. Additionally, for any American who needs a check immediately, the Federal Emergency Administration Company is including extra free, in-person testing websites nationwide.

Extra Army Backup

“I am asserting our subsequent deployment of six further federal medical groups,” Biden stated. These reinforcements embody greater than 120 navy medical personnel being despatched to hard-hit states, together with Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Rhode Island.

These navy personnel will be part of different groups already in motion.

Since Thanksgiving, over 800 navy and different federal emergency personnel have been deployed to 24 states, tribes, and territories, Biden famous. The numbers included greater than 350 navy medical doctors, nurses, and medics to assist overwhelmed hospital workers. As well as, greater than 14,000 Nationwide Guard members are already deployed to assist well being care employees are in 49 states.

Vaccination Stays Prime Precedence

Getting extra Individuals vaccinated and boosted stays a precedence, notably throughout the Omicron surge.

“Proper now, each vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are testing optimistic. However what occurs after that might not be extra totally different,” Biden stated. “If vaccinated folks check optimistic, they’re overwhelmingly have both no signs in any respect or they’ve delicate signs.”

In distinction, when an unvaccinated individual checks optimistic, they’re greater than 17 instances extra prone to get hospitalized, he stated.

“So long as we’ve got tens of thousands and thousands of people that is not going to get vaccinated, we’ll have full hospitals and pointless deaths. They’re crowding the hospitals, leaving little room for anybody else who might need a coronary heart assault, automotive accident, or any damage in any respect,” Biden stated.

One vivid spot up to now with the Omicron surge is, regardless of the leap in case and hospitalization numbers, he stated, “deaths are down dramatically from final winter.”

Uniting In opposition to a Frequent Enemy

Biden stated America will “get by means of this when everyone does their half, regardless of the place you reside, regardless of your political social gathering.”

Additional acknowledging the political divide influencing COVID-19 response and numbers, he stated: “We have got a battle this collectively. We have started working collectively. Not in opposition to one another.”

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