Monday, January 24, 2022

WATCH LIVE: Biden comments on use of military personnel to handle COVID-19 surge

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is highlighting the federal government’s efforts to “bounce up” COVID-19 testing and military medical personnel due to a spike in coronavirus cases and staff shortages due to the highly permeable Omicron variant. To help weather the medical facilities.

The event is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET. Watch the player above.

Starting next week, 1,000 military medical personnel will arrive at hospitals across the country to help ease staffing shortages. Many facilities are struggling as their workers are in home quarantine due to the virus at the same time as a nationwide spike in COVID-19 cases. The new deployment will be on top of other federal medical personnel that have already been sent to states to help with acute shortages.

The White House said Biden planned to provide comment Thursday morning on the “surge response” to COVID-19. The administration’s focus is shifting from a nationwide spike in cases to minimizing disruptions that are also contributing to grocery shortages and flight cancellations.

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration’s acting chief, Janet Woodcock, told Congress that the highly communicable strain would infect “the vast majority of people” and that the focus should be on ensuring that critical services can continue uninterrupted.

“I think it’s really hard to process what’s happening right now, which is: Most people are going to get COVID, right?” he said. “We need to make sure that hospitals can still function – transportation, other essential services are not disrupted while this happens.”

The White House said Biden will also announce that he is instructing his team to double down on purchases of rapid COVID-19 tests to be distributed free of charge to Americans through an upcoming federal website, as he faces shortages and Want to respond to criticism on long lines. testing. The initial order was for 500 million tests, and now the federal government will buy 1 billion home testing kits.

The White House said Biden would be joined by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who recently recovered from his case of COVID-19, and FEMA Administrator Dean Criswell. They will highlight the work of more than 800 military personnel who have been helping civilian hospitals since Thanksgiving and more than 14,000 National Guard members whose work supporting vaccination, testing and patient care is being covered by the federal government.

The White House said all three would speak with federal personnel who are already in the field in Arizona, Michigan and New York to hear about their experiences.

Biden will also announce that six additional military medical teams will be deployed to Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island.

The White House said the teams will support Henry Ford Hospital just outside Detroit, University Hospital in Newark, University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, Cleveland Clinic and Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.

Nation World News Desk
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