Jan. 13, 2022 — President Joe Biden introduced Thursday the U.S. authorities will make free, upgraded face masks accessible for ordering on-line beginning subsequent week.
As well as, he’s ordering 500 million extra speedy COVID-19 exams 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.
Biden’s plan goals to make getting upgraded masks simpler for People.
“I’ve taken each motion I can as president to require individuals to put on masks in federal buildings and on airplanes and trains,” the president stated. Nonetheless, “I do know that for some People, a masks shouldn’t be at all times inexpensive or handy to get.”
With that in thoughts, subsequent week, the White Home will announce how individuals can order high-quality masks, together with N95s, on-line, without spending a dime, on a brand new web site.
Biden estimated that about one-third of People 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 carried out with carrying masks, I get it,” he stated. “However they’re a extremely necessary software to cease the unfold, particularly [of] the extremely transmittable Omicron variant.”
One Billion Assessments
Within the 10-minute handle, Biden additionally introduced plans to order 500 million extra at-home speedy COVID-19 exams to fulfill demand. The order comes on prime of the five hundred million exams the federal government already ordered.
Doing the mathematics, the president famous the present and future provide means there will likely be a billion exams “being acquired to ship to your houses without spending a dime.”
Biden additionally identified that speedy at-home exams weren’t accessible when he took workplace. In distinction, “we’ll have over 375 million at-home speedy exams in January alone. That is an enormous leap,” he stated.
Within the meantime, his administration will work with on-line retailers to make extra exams accessible. Additionally, for any American who needs a take a look at instantly, 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 embrace 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 docs, 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 People vaccinated and boosted stays a precedence, notably in the course of the Omicron surge.
“Proper now, each vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are testing constructive. However what occurs after that might not be extra completely different,” Biden stated. “If vaccinated individuals take a look at constructive, they’re overwhelmingly have both no signs in any respect or they’ve delicate signs.”
In distinction, when an unvaccinated particular person exams constructive, they’re greater than 17 instances extra prone to get hospitalized, he stated.
“So long as now we have 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 to this point with the Omicron surge is, regardless of the leap in case and hospitalization numbers, he stated, “deaths are down dramatically from final winter.”
Uniting Towards a Frequent Enemy
Biden stated America will “get by means of this when everyone does their half, irrespective of the place you reside, irrespective of your political celebration.”
Additional acknowledging the political divide influencing COVID-19 response and numbers, he stated: “We have a battle this collectively. We have started working collectively. Not in opposition to one another.”