People vaccinated and given boosters have “much less reason to worry”

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President Biden delivers remarks on the pandemic and is expected to announce the purchase of half a billion home Covid-19 rapid tests and a plan to distribute them for free to Americans who request them through a website, one of ‘a series of new milestones he will unveil as the country faces a wave of winter infections.

The 500 million new tests will be available next month and will reach Americans by mail, the official said. The administration is still working to determine how many tests each household can request.

Among the president’s new initiatives is a plan to prepare 1,000 military personnel to deploy to overcrowded hospitals across the country in January and February, administration officials said. These service members will include doctors, nurses, physicians and other military medical personnel.

Biden hopes to reassure Americans that if they are vaccinated, they can still carry on with their vacation plans without fear of becoming seriously ill. Conversely, he wants to warn those who have not yet received vaccines of the potential for serious illness or death in the coming months.

“The President will tell the American people if they are vaccinated and will follow the precautions we are all familiar with, especially wearing masks when traveling, they should feel comfortable celebrating Christmas and the holidays the way they do. had planned, “a senior administration official said in advance. previewing a speech that Biden hopes will reassure anxious Americans ahead of the holiday season.

In contrast, Biden will warn the tens of millions of Americans who have so far refused to be vaccinated that they are at high risk of becoming ill or being hospitalized as the highly transmissible variant of Omicron spreads rapidly to across the country.

Biden will also announce new vaccination sites and increased access to vaccines, and deploy hundreds of additional federal vaccinators who will help add “thousands of appointments each week,” the official said.

More background: The speech, which takes place just days before Christmas, reflects Biden’s renewed focus on the coronavirus pandemic as anxiety grows across the country over the potential for further restrictions and lockdowns.

Queues for testing centers have stretched over blocks in some areas, including the northeast, leading the White House to develop plans to open new federal testing sites in New York City before Christmas.

The distribution of free home tests to all Americans was canceled by the White House just this month. Press secretary Jen Psaki scoffed earlier this month when asked if the tests should be free and distributed, available everywhere.


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