President Biden Pressures Congress for Emergency Covid Funds
While the number of new coronavirus cases in the United States is declining, a highly transmittable sub-variant of Omicron known as BA.2 has caused a spike in cases in Europe, and many experts expect the United States may soon see the same. If this happens, it will be the first significant test of the country’s new strategy to fight the virus while limiting its impact.
Across the country, state and local governments have eased restrictions such as mask and vaccine requirements. The White House and federal health officials have been arguing for weeks that Americans now have the tools — testing infrastructure, masks, other mitigation strategies, and drugs and vaccines — to live with the threat of the virus.
In his State of the Union address, Mr. Biden announced a new “testing for cure” initiative, a network of pharmacies and other places where people can get tested for the coronavirus and then get antivirals if they test positive. More than 2,000 sites participate, according to the White House. The covid.gov website has a tool to help people find participating locations.
Under a banner that says “Find a guide to Covid-19 for your community,” the website asks users to enter the name of the county they live in. It then determines whether the risk of Covid-19 in that county is low, medium, or high, depending on the number of hospitalizations and the availability of hospital beds.
The site also links to other government websites, including vaccines.gov and covidtests.gov, which help users access vaccines and find nearby testing sites.