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US: Joe Biden Pledges Full Support To States Facing Surge In COVID-19 Cases

United States' President Biden, on December 27, committed the federal government's complete support to states dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks, caused by Omicron

United States

Image: AP

United States President Joe Biden, on December 27, committed the federal government's complete support to states dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks, caused by the more-transmissible Omicron variant. Biden acknowledged long lines and chaotic scenes, as Americans sought testing amid the surge and wanted to safely meet with family and friends during the holiday.

"My message is: if you need something, say something, and we are going to have your back any way we can," Biden said at a regular meeting between his coronavirus response team and the National Governors Association, according to various media reports.

Joe Biden mentioned his administration's proposal to make 500 million quick tests available to Americans starting next month through a website that is still being constructed.

"Seeing how tough it was for some folks to get a test this weekend shows we have more work to do and we’re doing it," Biden said. A White House official said that the new tests would come from new manufacturing capacity and wouldn't interfere with existing supply chains, AP reported.

'When I get a recommendation I follow it'

On being asked if the quarantine period should be shortened for those who test positive for COVID-19, Biden deferred to his medical team advisers, stating, "When I get a recommendation I follow it." Even while his administration is preparing to purchase nearly half a billion COVID-19 fast test kits and distribute them for free in American households, it has been reported that despite the urgency, it would take a few weeks for these to be ready.

The administration has also stated that there are still certain specifics that need to be worked out before they can move forward. The US Government does not have all of the tests, nevertheless, the departments of Health and Human Services are executing an accelerated emergency contract to meet demand and get the ball rolling on the subject, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

As the number of Covid-19 cases rise due to the spread of the Omicron variant, so does the demand for testing before and after the holidays, exhausting most pharmacies' supplies. Getting tested is the best way for people to ensure that the virus does not spread to their family members, employees, or acquaintances.

These 500 million test kits will be added to President Biden's vow to provide 50 million fast tests to community health centres around the country. The tests will be purchased using funds from the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief fund established by President Trump in March of this year, but the cost is still unknown.

(With inputs from agencies)


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