WEDNESDAY, Jan. 5, 2021 (HealthDay Information) – Be involved concerning the quickly spreading Omicron variant, President Joe Biden urged Individuals on Tuesday, however do not be alarmed.
Biden delivered that message to reporters previous to a gathering along with his COVID-19 response crew, saying he was making an attempt to convey each his administration’s urgency in responding to COVID and the truth that the nation now has extra instruments to struggle the virus, the Related Press reported.
“You possibly can nonetheless get COVID, nevertheless it’s extremely unlikely, not possible, that you’re going to turn out to be severely unwell,” Biden mentioned of vaccinated individuals, emphasizing that vaccines, booster shots and new treatments have made the pandemic far much less harmful for vaccinated Individuals.
However he additionally had stern phrases for many who have chosen to not be immunized.
“There is no excuse, there is not any excuse for anybody being unvaccinated,” he added. “This continues to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
In his remarks on Tuesday, Biden additionally introduced that his administration is doubling its order of Pfizer’s new antiviral capsule, which was not too long ago licensed by the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration. The primary 10 million of 20 million doses will likely be delivered between January and June. Added to that will likely be 4 million monoclonal antibody and convalescent plasma remedies, obtainable to Individuals by the tip of this month, the AP reported.
“They are a recreation changer and have the potential to dramatically alter the impression of COVID-19, the impression it is had on this nation and our individuals,” Biden mentioned of the antiviral capsules.
Biden additionally talked about easing testing shortages and retaining colleges open.
He mentioned he understands that the testing points are irritating. Over the vacations, individuals waited in lengthy traces to get checks. The testing spike was spurred by Omicron, individuals desirous to journey this vacation season, and people desirous to return to highschool.
“Seems, Omicron is driving a spike in demand for testing…in all places,” tweeted Ben Wakana, deputy director of strategic communications & engagement for the White Home’s COVID-19 response crew, highlighting comparable shortages within the U.Ok., Canada and Australia.
In December, Biden introduced that his administration will quickly make 500 million speedy antigen checks obtainable free to Individuals who need them, however it should take weeks or months earlier than they’re obtainable. Personal insurers will likely be required to cowl the price of at-home checks beginning later this month.
Two Republican senators, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, who serve on the Senate Well being, Schooling, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Well being and Human Providers, wrote a letter Monday to the Division of Well being and Human Providers looking for solutions about how the administration was working to handle nationwide testing shortages.
“With over $82.6 billion particularly appropriated for testing, and adaptability throughout the division to allocate further funds from COVID-19 supplemental payments or annual appropriations if needed, it’s unclear to us why we face such dire circumstances now,” they wrote. “It doesn’t look like due to lack of funding, however a extra elementary lack of technique and a failure to anticipate future testing wants by the administration.”
In response, White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki advised reporters Tuesday that the federal government plans to award contracts to extra check producers this week, the AP reported.
Regardless of information of many U.S. hospitals reaching capability and workforces being gutted by rising COVID circumstances amongst workers, Biden reiterated his help for retaining youngsters in school rooms as the brand new yr begins.
“I consider colleges ought to stay open,” he mentioned, including that his administration has the funding wanted for testing and different mitigation measures to remain open throughout an Omicron surge, the AP reported.
SOURCE: Related Press
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