Qatar v. Ecuador to kick off FIFA World Cup 2022™ on 20 NovemberRead more Webb Fontaine Announces Launch of Niger National Single Window (NNSW) to Bolster TradeRead more Ethiopia: Loan from United Nations Fund Allows Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to Scale Up Fertilizers for Farmers in TigrayRead more How Choosing the Right Printer Helps Small Businesses and Content Creators to Save Time, Maximise Productivity and Achieve GrowthRead more Eritrea: World Breastfeeding WeekRead more Eritrean community festival in Scandinavian countriesRead more IOM: Uptick in Migrants Heading Home as World Rebounds from COVID-19Read more Network International & Infobip to offer WhatsApp for Business Banking Services to Financial Institution Clients across AfricaRead more Ambassador Jacobson Visits Gondar in the Amhara Region to Show Continued U.S. Support for the Humanitarian and Development Needs of EthiopiansRead more Voluntary Repatriation of Refugees from Angola to DR Congo ResumesRead more

White House announces new action plan to fight omicron variant

show caption
AFP Photo
Print Friendly and PDF

Dec 03, 2021 - 11:49 AM

CHICAGO, United States (AA) – US President Joe Biden announced on Thursday an expanded White House effort to fight COVID-19, specifically the emerging omicron variant.

Biden acknowledged that his hotly debated vaccine mandates for US private employers, now on hold in parts of the country by federal judges, are being “reviewed by the courts,” but he said his plan does not expand or add to those mandates.

Instead, he laid out new steps, including an expansion in the nation’s vaccine booster shot campaign, with expanded hours and locations, for the 110 million Americans who are eligible for boosters. He also said the government will launch hundreds of new family vaccination centers, “one-stop”, as he put it, where whole families can get vaccinated at once.

He also said he supports the effort to eventually get vaccine doses to children under the age of 5.

On the matter of schools, Biden said that 99% of US schools remain open now, and that he intends to keep it that way through the winter, with expanded COVID-19 testing.

Biden said the government is tripling the number of its “surge response teams” to 60. Those teams rush to aid communities where COVID patients are overwhelming hospital staffs.

“Some communities are hit so much harder than others,” he said.

Biden said he is taking advice from “real doctors, not conspiracy theorists,” in trying to accelerate the use of monoclonal antibodies, which have been shown to lessen the severe effects of COVID-19.

Biden said the administration is making sure at-home test kits are more available and covered by private health insurance, while opening thousands of locations for uninsured people to get at-home tests.

He also said he is extending through the winter months the requirement that US passengers on board all commercial flights, and all other forms of public transportation, must be masked.

The US president announced an immediate change for international travelers coming to the US. Previously, a traveler had to take a COVID-19 test three days prior to departure; now, a traveler must get a test one day before departure.

Biden also touted America’s help to the rest of the world on vaccine distribution. He said America already provides more vaccine doses to the rest of the world than all other countries combined, and will launch an effort to get 200 million more doses overseas in the next 100 days.

Biden said the emerging omicron variant might have at least one unintended benefit: convincing more vaccine-resistant Americans to get the shot.

And he decried, again, the politicization of the vaccines.

“It’s a sad, sad commentary,” he said. “This is a moment we can put the divisiveness behind us, I hope.”

LMBCHEALTH.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.