On Thursday, the President of the United States announced an array of moves to protect the U.S. nationals from a likely winter surge of COVID-19 infections, as five states confirmed cases associated with the new coronavirus variant and global researchers share statistics suggesting that the still-secretive variant may be able to reinfect individuals who had prior infections.
In a speech at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Biden said that the government would combat this variant with science and speed, not confusion and chaos. In addition, he requested Americans to put aside political differences and continue to take vaccination shots, wear face masks, maintain distance and take other precautionary measures. It is a moment they can put the disagreement behind them.
Biden’s plan includes campaigns to boost vaccinations and booster doses, more rigid testing for international travelers, and making instant at-home COVID-19 testing accessible for more individuals. While some of the moves are new – particularly a strategy to initiate family mobile inoculation units, where all entitled members of a family could instantaneously receive vaccine shots and boosters.
The U.S. Nation will Ward Off Omicron
In addition, public health experts admired aspects of the president’s plan but called for additional investments in screening, testing, and fighting misinformation about the coronavirus vaccines. Likewise, they said that the president’s pledge that the country will defend against the most infectious Omicron variant after it defeated the delta variant does not reflect a reality where the pandemic continues to spread at high levels, with over one hundred forty thousand COVID-19-linked deaths in the U.S. since the September start.
President Biden emphasized that the vaccines are still the strongest protection against the existing and new COVID-19 variants and that all eligible Americans should get a booster dose as early as they are eligible, given that immunity seems to disappear over time. He also touted a plan for pharmacies to send emails and text messages to remind Americans when they are eligible for the booster dose.
Biden Touted at-home Tests
Moreover, the U.S. federal department will begin new booster-dose ad campaigns and alliances with corporations such as AARP. The plan also called for the safety-net health insurance program, Medicaid, and to compensate participating healthcare providers for coronavirus treatment visits, in which health employees answer questions from the families about vaccines and stress the significance of getting kids immunized. 58% of U.S. nationals considered vaccinated entirely against the virus of 1st November – a rate that increased to just 59.4% of 1st December, according to the vaccination tracker of the Washington Post.
The president touted a plan to make instant at-home tests more accessible by calling private insurance firms to compensate consumers for the tests’ cost, starting in January, while community health centers, including some countryside health clinics, offer them free. Biden said that private insurers already cover the high-priced PCR test that citizens get at a doctor’s office, and now they will include at-home tests as well. Further, he announced that inbound international travelers must face testing requirements for the COVID-19 within one day of foreign departure, irrespective of vaccination status or nationality.
I’m announcing today that all inbound international travelers must test within one day of departure — regardless of vaccination status or nationality.
This tighter testing timeline provides an added degree of protection as scientists continue to study the Omicron variant.
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 2, 2021