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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Biden to double home COVID tests for Americans

by Zeke Miller | The Associated Press

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that the government would double down on rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests to be distributed free to Americans along with “high-quality masks” as he saw a “boom” of his own. efforts were highlighted. Resources to help the country weather the spike in coronavirus cases.

Biden also announced that 1,000 military medical personnel would begin deploying nationwide from next week to ease staff shortages caused by overcrowded medical facilities caused by the highly permeable Omron variant. Speaking at the White House, he said six additional military medical teams would be deployed to Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island.

Many facilities are struggling as their workers are in home quarantine due to the virus at the same time as a nationwide spike in COVID-19 cases. The new deployment will be on top of other federal medical personnel that have already been sent to states to help with acute shortages.

Biden acknowledged that, “I know we are all disappointed as we enter this new year” as virus cases reach new heights. But he stressed that it remains an “epidemic without vaccination”.

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated people test positive for the virus, but Biden noted medical data that people are much less likely to get serious illness and death if they get a shot: “After that What happens couldn’t be more different.”

Biden’s comments come as his administration’s focus is shifting from a spike in cases to reducing disruption that is also contributing to grocery shortages and flight cancellations, rather than preventing transmission of the virus.

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration’s acting chief of staff, Janet Woodcock, told Congress that the highly communicable strain would infect “the majority of people” and that the focus should be on ensuring that critical services can continue uninterrupted.

“I think it’s really hard to process what’s happening right now, which is: Most people are going to get COVID, right?” he said. “We need to make sure that hospitals can still function – transportation, other essential services are not disrupted while this happens.”

Biden said he is instructing his team to double his purchase of rapid COVID-19 tests, to be distributed for free to Americans via an upcoming federal website, as he faces shortages and long lines for testing. Want to respond to criticism. The initial order was for 500 million tests, and now the federal government will buy 1 billion home testing kits.

An initial batch of test kits will be available from next week, Biden said, when the administration launches a new website where Americans can request free tests. The remaining tests will be distributed in the coming months.

Biden also announced that for the first time his administration was planning to make “high-quality masks,” including the N95s, which are most effective at preventing transmission of the virus, available for free. He said his administration would announce the details next week.

The White House said this week that the federal government has a stockpile of more than 750 million N95 masks. And although research has shown those masks to be of better protection, they are often more uncomfortable, and health officials are not changing their guidance to recommend against less-protective cloth masks.

Rochelle Valensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Wednesday, “The best mask is the one you’ll wear and one you can keep on all day, one that you can tolerate in public indoor settings.”

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Biden encouraged Americans to wear masks indoors to slow the spread of the virus, even as he admitted they are a “pain in the neck”.

“Next week we will announce how we are providing free high-quality masks to the American people,” he said.

During Thursday’s remarks Biden was joined by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who had recently recovered from his case of COVID-19, and FEMA Administrator Dean Criswell. They were hearing about the work of more than 800 military personnel who have been helping civilian hospitals since Thanksgiving and more than 15,000 National Guard members whose work supporting vaccination, testing and patient care is covered by the federal government. Used to be.

The White House said it spoke with federal personnel already in the field in Arizona, Michigan and New York to hear about their experiences.

National Guard Bureau Chief General Dan Hockenson said that as of Thursday, there are now 15,200 Guard members nationwide supporting the COVID-19 mission.

State Guard leaders in Ohio, New York and Colorado told reporters Thursday that they are using only vaccination troops for missions that interact directly with the public, which include patient care at testing sites and hospitals.

The White House said the teams would support Henry Ford Hospital just outside Detroit, University Hospital in Newark, University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, Cleveland Clinic and Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.

According to Bob Rinney, president of healthcare operations and chief operating officer of Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System, the deployment by the Defense Department will join another team sent by the Department of Health and Human Services. He said the phases of operations would come together “in a highly coordinated manner”.

“They are not overlapping. They are complementary,” he told reporters on Thursday.

The first team of medical personnel arrived on Sunday and went through an orientation before helping patients on Monday. Rini said they are looking after 24 beds and support staff at Henry Ford Wyandotte.

The first phase is till January 21 and the second team will come for an additional 30 days. “We are looking at 45 days of total support and that has a lot more meaningful impact,” he said.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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