More free home tests and masks

The government will double the number of rapid COVID-19 home tests to 1 billion to be distributed free to Americans, along with maximum protection N95 masks, President Joe Biden announced Thursday, highlighting its efforts to “Increase” resources and help the country deal with the spike in coronavirus cases.

Biden also announced that starting next week, 1,000 military medical personnel will be deployed across the country to help overwhelmed medical facilities alleviate the personnel shortage caused by the omicron variant.

Many facilities are struggling with workers being isolated at home by the virus as infections spike nationwide. The deployment of the military medical elements adds to that of other federal medical personnel that have already been dispatched to the states to help with the worker shortage.

Speaking at the White House on Thursday, Biden acknowledged that: “I know we are all frustrated as we start this new year” with cases of the virus reaching new highs. But he insisted that it is still “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated people have tested positive for the virus, but Biden noted that medical data shows that people are much less likely to develop serious illness or die if they are inoculated against COVID-19. “What happens next could not be more different.”

Biden said he instructed his team to double down on the procurement of rapid COVID-19 tests for free distribution to Americans through a future federal website, as he seeks to respond to criticism about a test shortage and long lines. to undergo one.

The initial order was for 500 million tests, and now the federal government will buy 1 billion. Biden said the website will be launched next week.

The president also announced that for the first time his government planned to make high-quality N95 masks available to the public free of charge, which are the most effective in preventing the transmission of the virus. He said his government would announce the details next week.