Biden Announces New Strategy to Get Out of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The White House on Wednesday released a plan to manage COVID-19 so Americans can “move forward safely” without having to close schools and businesses.

The 96-page plan involves additional funding from Congress to enter a new phase of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

President Joe Biden gave a glimpse of the plan late Tuesday (1/3) when delivering his State of the Union address. Biden announced that starting next week, rapid tests free will be available online. This March, pharmacies can distribute anti-virus tablets that can be taken directly by patients who test positive for COVID-19.

“We launched the initiative Test to Treat so that US citizens can be tested in pharmacies. If they are positive, they will immediately be given an anti-virus tablet free of charge,” Biden said during a speech.

The plan also includes the production of around one billion doses of the vaccine annually to counter the possibility of a new variant of COVID-19 emerging. The new formula will be shared within 100 days after the new variant is detected. The global distribution of the vaccine is also included in the plan so that future mutations of the virus can be directly handled on a global scale.

The plan would require more funding, on top of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package that was delivered last year. The aid package has already been spent or will fund ongoing contracts. Officials did not say how much money would be needed for the new plan.

“Without this investment, many of the activities that have been outlined … could not be carried out or sustained,” the White House said Wednesday.

“America must maintain efforts such as vaccines, booster injections or… boostertreatment, testing, and (use of) masks, to fight COVID-19 and to reduce the risk of developing the most severe consequences,” reads the statement attached to the updated National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. [jm/mg]