President Biden’s Covid-19 response got off to a strong start. In his first few months in office, he and his team eliminated the chaotic, scientifically dubious messages that had come from the Trump administration and rapidly accelerated the pace of vaccinations.
In doing so, Biden compared the fight against Covid to wartime mobilization. “It will be the first priority, the second priority and the third priority — to deal with Covid and bring down the spread and bring down the death rate,” he told me during a phone call shortly before taking office.
But the Biden administration has fallen behind in recent months — on persuading people to get booster shots, on approving lifesaving treatments and on making Covid tests easily available. With the Omicron variant spreading rapidly, Biden faces another need to mobilize the federal government. He is set to give a speech today outlining his plans to do so.
According to White House officials, the plans include: sending military troops to help hospitals cope with Covid surges; deploying ventilators to places that need them; invoking a wartime law to accelerate production of Covid tests; sending free tests to people next month; and opening more vaccination clinics.
the C.D.C. said yesterday, and experts expect cases to soar over the next month. The vast majority will be mild because the vast majority of Americans have some degree of immune protection (and because childhood Covid is almost always mild). But Omicron may cause such a large increase in cases that it will nonetheless overwhelm hospitals, many of which are <a class="css-1g7m0tk" href="https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/12/20/world/omicron-covid-vaccine-tests/omicron-drives-a-surge-and-more-restrictions-in-the-northeast"
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