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POTUS Announces Half A Billion Free Home COVID19 Tests Amid Fight Against Omicron

POTUS Announces Half A Billion Free Home COVID19 Tests Amid Fight Against Omicron

home covid test

Federal health officials said on Monday that the Omicron variant has raced ahead of other variants and is now the dominant version in the US, accounting for three in four new infections last week, or 73% of all new cases. Now President Joe Biden, who earlier this month unveiled a winter plan to combat the pandemic dogging his political fortunes, has been forced to revise his strategy.

President Biden announced on Tuesday that half a billion at-home coronavirus tests will be sent free to Americans, as hospitals are already overwhelmed due to the increased surges of the Omicron variant. But even as Covid-19 once again threatens to ruin the holiday season, the President, speaking from the White House, did not discourage family gatherings, impose vaccine mandates for domestic air travel, or seek a new round of lockdowns.

[Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images]
The tests are part of a renewed White House effort that includes the Pentagon calling up 1,000 troops to deploy to hard-hit hospitals and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) working to expand medical capacity. The President announced that his administration is buying 500m at-home, rapid tests this winter to be distributed for free to Americans who want them, with initial delivery starting next month. A website will enable people to order them to be delivered to their homes for free.

The President said that while the public should be “concerned” but not “panicked” about Omicron, he added, “This is not March of 2020. Two hundred million people are vaccinated. We’re prepared. We know more. We just have to stay focused.”

 

President Biden warned: “Omicron is a serious, potentially deadly business for unvaccinated people. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you have good reason to be concerned. You’re at a high risk of getting sick. And if you get sick, you’re likely to spread it to others, including friends and family, and the unvaccinated have a significantly higher risk of ending up in the hospital or even dying.”

The President also pushed back against resistance to vaccine mandates by saying they are intended “not to control your life, but to save your life”. And he urged parents to get their children vaccinated and said the government now has the knowledge and tools to keep schools open, even when Covid-19 cases are reported.

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