The Plan To Take The United States To a New Stage Of The Pandemic

Watch Judge Breyer’s reaction to the words that Biden dedicated to him 1:10

(WABNEWS) — The White House unveiled a plan Wednesday to lead the nation into a new stage of the pandemic in which COVID-19 “does not disrupt our daily lives,” while preparing the nation for any new variant that may arise.

The National Preparedness Plan for Covid-19, which will require additional funding from Congress, focuses on investing in treatments for Covid-19, preparing for new variants, keeping schools and businesses open, and continuing the effort to vaccinate. to the nation and the world.


“Vaccines, treatments, tests, masks – these tools are how we continue to protect people and allow us to safely move forward and get back to our more normal routines. Going out to eat at a restaurant, taking that trip that has been delayed a lot, organize a play date for your children, attend a sporting event again, or a movie or a concert,” White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters at a press briefing. the White House.

An important new part of the plan includes a new “Test to Treat” initiative that President Joe Biden announced during his State of the Union address Tuesday night. He said Americans they could get tested for covid-19 at a pharmacy and receive free antiviral pills “on the spot” if they test positive.

Zients said hundreds of these “One-Stop Test to Treat” locations will open across the country this month. These sites will be in clinics within pharmacies, community health centers, long-term care facilities and US Department of Veterans Affairs facilities across the country.

Pfizer’s antiviral pill Paxlovid has been shown to significantly reduce hospitalizations and serious illness and was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year. Following his authorization, Biden announced the purchase of 10 million courses of treatment. Since then, the president has said the federal government will double its request from 10 million to 20 million courses of treatment.

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Zients said Americans who have already received free at-home Covid-19 tests they ordered through they will be able to place a second order start ing next week. He said the administration will continue to make hundreds of millions of high-quality masks available to Americans at pharmacies, grocery stores and community health centers across the country.

The administration will launch a website later this month, Zients said, to help Americans locate vaccines and masks in convenient places.

“This plan lays out the roadmap to help us fight COVID-19 in the future as we move America from a crisis to a time when COVID-19 does not disrupt our daily lives and is something we prevent.” , we guard against and we treat,” read a summary of the plan shared with WABNEWS.

“We look to a future where Americans no longer fear quarantines, shutdowns, and our children not going to school. It’s a future where the country trusts the powerful layers of protection we’ve built and invests in the next generation of tools to stay ahead of this virus.

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra told reporters that the administration has distributed more than 270 million N95 masks to local pharmacies and community health centers and that 70 million households have received rapid COVID-19 tests across the country. home.

He said a key part of the plan is supporting Americans struggling with the long-term impacts of COVID, including long-term COVID and mental health issues. The president said Tuesday that he was directing the federal government to speed up its efforts to detect, prevent and treat prolonged covid.

The plan includes an effort to vaccinate children under 5 years of age if the FDA issues its authorization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination for that group. The authorization of vaccines for younger children has been delayed as the FDA seeks additional data.

Efforts to prepare for new variants include improving data collection capabilities and supporting accelerated review of variant-specific vaccines and treatments. It also includes adding home testing, antiviral pills and face masks to the strategic national stockpile.

Keeping schools and businesses open is a key part of the administration’s plan to prevent the virus from disrupting normal life. The plan includes working with Congress to secure funding for additional testing and supplies to stay open, including tools to improve ventilation and air filtration. The White House will also work to get Congress to approve sick leave for workers who miss work because of Covid-19 or because they are caring for a loved one with the virus.

Last week, the CDC announced that most people in the United States live in areas where healthy people do not need to wear masks indoors. It was a radical change from what previous covid-19 metrics recommended.

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