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 instances 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 folks to put on masks in federal buildings and on airplanes and trains,” the president mentioned. Nevertheless, “I do know that for some People, a masks isn’t all the time 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, totally free, 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 performed with sporting masks, I get it,” he mentioned. “However they’re a very essential 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 checks to fulfill demand. The order comes on high of the five hundred million checks the federal government already ordered.
Doing the maths, the president famous the present and future provide means there shall be a billion checks “being acquired to ship to your houses totally free.”
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 mentioned.
Within the meantime, his administration will work with on-line retailers to make extra checks out there. Additionally, for any American who needs a take a look at 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 mentioned. 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 employees. As well as, greater than 14,000 Nationwide Guard members are already deployed to assist health 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 would not be extra completely different,” Biden mentioned. “If vaccinated folks take a look at constructive, they’re overwhelmingly have both no signs in any respect or they’ve gentle signs.”
In distinction, when an unvaccinated particular person checks constructive, they’re greater than 17 occasions extra more likely to get hospitalized, he mentioned.
“So long as we have now tens of hundreds of thousands of people that won’t get vaccinated, we’ll have full hospitals and useless deaths. They’re crowding the hospitals, leaving little room for anybody else who might need a heart attack, automotive accident, or any damage in any respect,” Biden mentioned.
One brilliant spot up to now with the Omicron surge is, regardless of the leap in case and hospitalization numbers, he mentioned, “deaths are down dramatically from final winter.”
Uniting Towards a Widespread Enemy
Biden mentioned America will “get via this when everyone does their half, regardless of the place you reside, regardless of your political occasion.”
Additional acknowledging the political divide influencing COVID-19 response and numbers, he mentioned: “We have a battle this collectively. We have started working collectively. Not towards one another.”