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  • Katie Huang

Biden Plans to Give 500 Million Tests to FIght Omicron

We had a new variant called Omicron detected in San Francisco, California, at the beginning of December. A few days later, the cases increased in different cities and different states. Christmas is coming this Saturday, a lot of people are planning to travel during this holiday. Scientists are concerned that the cases will increase after the holiday.

To deal with this, President Biden plans to announce that 1,000 military medical professionals will be ready to help at overburdened hospitals, setting up new federal testing sites, deploying hundreds of federal vaccinators, and buying 500 million rapid tests to distribute access to the public. At the time, he promised that the 150 million Americans with private health insurance would be able to get reimbursed for at-home Covid-19 tests starting in mid-January, said his administration would improve access to booster shots, and imposed new testing requirements for international travelers.

But Mr. Biden will also acknowledge that the shape of the pandemic is shifting, the officials said. Breakthrough Omicron infections are common, though scientists believe vaccines will protect against the worst outcomes. Many fully vaccinated and boosted people who are getting infected are experiencing mild symptoms or none at all.

At the same time, Mr. Biden will announce that six federal emergency response teams, with more than 100 health professionals and paramedics, will deploy immediately to six states: Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Three hundred federal medical workers have been deployed since Omicron was discovered in late November.


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