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After multiple waves of the Coronavirus, we are ready to see this epidemic come to an end. Unfortunately, the possibility of contracting COVID-19 remains a reality. Last year, the Biden Administration put in place the National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan to establish four key goals for handling the virus while it remains a threat:
- Protect against and treat COVID-19
- Prepare for new variants
- Prevent economic and educational shutdowns
- Continue to vaccinate the world
Protect Against and Treat COVID-19
Since January 2021, Americans have had more tools to use to protect against COVID-19. The Biden Administration has worked with states, local governments, and public and private partners to deploy these tools. The most effective tool has been vaccination. People who have been vaccinated and have received a booster shot are forty-one times less likely to die from COVID-19 than unvaccinated people.
The Biden Administration has also expedited the development, manufacturing, and procurement of COVID-19 treatments, such as the one offered by Pfizer. Today, there are millions of courses of Pfizer’s life-saving antiviral pills available. These antiviral pills have been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death by 89%.
The ability for Americans to get tested for COVID-19 has increased dramatically since the early months of the pandemic. There are now thousands of free testing sites across the country, and there are millions of at-home test kits available for free.
The Administration will continue to employ these helpful tools while enhancing them in preparation for new variants and outbreaks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will continue to monitor the spread of the coronavirus and adjust its guidelines according to developments.
Prepare for New Variants
While we continue to protect ourselves from COVID-19, we need to prepare for new variants as they come along. To this end, the Biden Administration has developed a comprehensive plan for monitoring the virus, adapting the tools to quickly combat new variants, and deploying emergency resources to help communities.
Since the first days of the Biden Administration in January 2021, the Administration has enhanced data collection, production, and analysis. It has also expanded electronic case reporting to all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and thousands of health care facilities. The CDC is now tracking a range of key COVID-19 response metrics, including cases, tests, vaccinations, and hospital admissions in real-time.
The Administration has also built a robust emergency response infrastructure. Headed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), we have capabilities to set up over 100 federal mass vaccination sites and surge testing sites; distribute millions of critical supplies; and deploy thousands of federal clinical and non-clinical personnel to support states, tribes, and territories.
The Biden Administration, in partnership with the CDC, will continue to improve data collection, reporting, and analysis, so America is well informed and ready to respond to new variants.
Prevent Economic and Educational Shutdowns
In early 2021, America was experiencing widespread school and business closures. Only 46% of K-12 schools were open for in-person learning, and millions of businesses had closed, costing tens of millions of Americans their jobs. The Biden Administration has provided schools, childcare providers, and businesses with the necessary tools to open and operate safely.
About 99% of K-12 schools are now open for in-person learning. Since President Biden took office, we have seen historic job growth. The U.S. economy created 6.6 million jobs and grew 5.7% in 2021. Thanks in part to efforts to lessen the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. was the first major economy to exceed its pre-pandemic economic output.
To keep the economy thriving, we need to make sure schools and businesses have the resources and guidance they need to prevent shutdowns.
Continue to Vaccinate the World
Since the pandemic’s effects are being felt around the globe, we need to extend our mitigation efforts beyond our borders. The Biden Administration has committed to donating over 1 billion vaccine doses to other countries. So far, we have donated over 475 million free doses to 112 countries.
In addition to donating vaccines, the U.S. government has delivered life-saving resources, such as oxygen, treatments, PPE, and other essential supplies to countries experiencing outbreaks. U.S. government public health experts are working side-by-side with on-the-ground providers to provide technical assistance in vaccine program implementation, care provision, and outbreak investigation. We have fostered an enabling environment for innovation and have increased the world’s capacity to manufacture vaccines.
The Biden Administration is committed to continuing the successful National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and using reliable data, tests, vaccines, and treatments to further reduce the spread and severity of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. We hope you found this article helpful. If you’d like to discuss your particular situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would love to help – contact our offices in Midway, Erie, and Franklin PA.