US President Biden Announces COVID Winter Action Plan

Photo: Reuters

US President Joe Biden announced a new tactic Thursday, December 2, directed to neutralize prospective COVID-19 winter outburst without imposing unpopular lockdowns. Instead they will be focusing on extensive vaccinations and boosters as the pandemic approaches its 2-year mark. 

Biden’s multi-faceted action plan puts a significant insistence in expanding vaccinations to Americans who are yet to get their shots and dispense boosters to eligible American adults. He’s also enforcing rules in international travels to require tests closer to arrival in the United States and make insurance companies cover for at-home tests. 

However, he is not to implement shutdowns of schools and businesses as the country is bound to economic recovery. 

The president recommends eligible adults, Americans over 18 that have been vaccinated over 6 months, to proceed to clinics for booster shots. Seniors are not to worry as Biden reaches out to AARP for contacts on its 38 million members. 

Any federal employee who gets their booster shot at any day or time will get paid off. He also recommended private sector employers to do the same.

Biden states, “No one should have to choose between a paycheck and getting additional protection for a booster shot.”

Launching new family clinics to make it easier for the whole family to get vaccinated in one place is one of the priorities. Free at-home tests will be more available than ever with private insurance plans covering the expenses. These free tests will also be made available for the uninsured in thousands of locations, community health centers, and other sites.

Biden is imposing a new policy to keep children at school instead of quarantining them at home as children ages 5 and above now have safe and effective vaccinations and over 20 million of them have been vaccinated. So the closure of schools isn’t necessary. 

It is anticipated that 30% of non-vaxxers will want to be vaccinated as a new COVID variant Omicron emerged. This new variant, said Biden, should be a cause for concern not panic, and that the nation should “fight this variant with science and speed not chaos and confusion.”

COVID has brought divisiveness in the country and it has been made a political issue. So according to Biden, taking vaccinations and boosters should be treated as a patriotic responsibility. 

Biden added in the statement that this new impediment should “unite the nation in a common purpose – to fight this virus, to protect one another, to protect our economic recovery.”

Governors, both Republican and Democratic, thank Biden as surge teams make a difference in the fight against COVID. Surge teams are the doctors and nurses who go to places and overrun hospitals to help accommodate patients.