Biden Administration Releases National COVID Preparedness Plan

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Biden Administration Releases National COVID Preparedness Plan

Today, the Biden administration released a new National COVID Preparedness Plan to keep America moving forward safely and back to normal routines. The plan focuses on three key goals: 

  • Protection against COVID-19,
  • Preparing for new variants, and
  • Preventing economic and educational shutdowns

First, on protection. Unlike at the start of the pandemic, there are multiple tools to protect against COVID, including vaccines, treatments, tests and masks. 

  • Vaccines: The US now has over 215 million people fully vaccinated. This plan lays out a system to get kids under 5 vaccinated as soon as it’s authorized. 
  • Treatments: The existence of anti-viral pills to treat COVID has cut the chances of an infected person going to the hospital by 90%. This plan announces a “Test to Treat” initiative where people can get tested at a pharmacy clinic – and if they’re positive – receive treatment pills on the spot.
  • Tests: The administration has sent nearly 70 million households free tests. Under this plan, starting next week Americans can order additional free at-home tests on COVIDtests.gov

Second, the administration is preparing for new variants. 

  • Early Warnings: The US has better monitoring systems for hotspots and variants of concern, with an ability to catch them earlier, faster, and with greater precision.
  • Faster Approvals: If needed, the administration has processes in place to produce, authorize and start delivery of new vaccines within 100 days.
  • New Stockpiles: With support from Congress, the US has new stockpiles of tests, masks, treatment pills and PPE ready to deploy when needed  

Third, preventing economic and educational shutdowns.

  • The administration will work to give schools and businesses the tools they need to prevent economic and educational shutdowns, such as paid leave for those who have to miss work due to COVID-19.
  • Ventilation: The administration will release a set of clear recommendations and actions all buildings can take to improve indoor ventilation and air filtration to keep students and staff safe.

Throughout this plan, the administration will ensure they are protecting the most vulnerable populations, including the immuno-compromised and those with disabilities. The immuno-compromised have access to a fourth booster and priority access to new treatments.

The administration is also launching a comprehensive response to prevent, treat, and better understand Long-COVID and to address mental health issues.

Executing this plan will require additional congressional funding. Soon, the administration will send Congress a request for additional funding, which is expected to pass quickly.