President Biden on his winter covid plan: ‘it’s become a political issue, which is sad’

Yesterday President Biden was at the National Institute of Health where he outlined a winter covid plan to stave off the omicron variant and help get more Americans boostered and vaccinated. After all the terrible news this week it was a balm to watch Biden’s speech. Biden has the best strategists and scientists on his team and they’ve come up with a way to keep us as safe. He not going to impose further vaccine mandates or lockdowns and they’re taking other measures. They’re going to make at-home covid tests covered by private health insurance for people who have it and free for people without. Plus they’re adding family vaccination centers throughout the US and are increasing the number of government rapid response teams to 60. These teams will be deployed to hospitals and areas with a high case load. Here’s a link to the full plan from the White House and a link to the transcript of Biden’s speech. The video is embedded below. I’ve also included a shorter video from Fauci with the highlights. I’m quoting CNBC here because they have a good overview.

President Joe Biden on Thursday said his plan to fight Covid during the winter months will not include new lockdowns or an expansion of the administration’s current vaccination requirements.

“It doesn’t include shutdowns or lockdowns, but widespread vaccinations and boosters and testing a lot more,” Biden told reporters during an update.

“And while my existing federal vaccination requirements are being reviewed by the courts, this plan does not expand or add to those mandates — a plan that all Americans hopefully can rally around, and it should get bipartisan support, in my humble opinion,” the president said.

The administration hopes to increase the number of Americans who have received booster shots by expanding outreach. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will contact the more than 60 million people who are on Medicare, mostly seniors, to remind them to get an additional shot.

Biden said Thursday the administration’s goal is to keep schools open by launching hundreds of family vaccination clinics at community health centers and other locations around the country to make it easier for parents to immunize their kids.

“We want our children in school; we are going to take new steps to make sure it stays that way,” Biden said. “But, again, the best step is to vaccinate your children.”

The plan also includes an expansion of free at-home Covid testing. Americans with private insurance will be reimbursed for the tests, and the administration will distribute 50 million free tests to health centers and rural clinics for people who are uninsured or underserved, according to the president.

Biden said the administration doesn’t believe additional measures are needed at the moment but is developing contingency plans to develop new vaccines and boosters if they’re needed to fight omicron.

“My team is already working with officials at Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson to develop contingency plans for other vaccines or boosters,” Biden said. “And I’ll also direct the FDA and the CDC to use the fastest process available — without cutting corners, for safety — to get such vaccines reviewed and approved if needed.”

The U.S., starting next week, will also require inbound international travelers regardless of vaccination status to get tested 24 hours before their departure. The administration is also extending the mask mandate for domestic flights and public transit until March 18.

[From CNBC]

Biden also said that we have to make sure the rest of the world is vaccinated. He emphasized that the US ships more vaccines around the world than every other country combined. We’re going to increase that with another 200 million doses in the next 100 days. Watching this made me feel so much better, not only for us but for the countries which need vaccines. I wish that stricter measures were in place to require vaccinations from domestic travelers and in large indoor gatherings at least, but this is likely the best we can do for now. It’s encouraging that at home testing is going to be free and that they’re sending response teams and medication to help in the areas which are hardest hit by covid. He said that they’re relying on recommendations from doctors who aren’t conspiracy theorists!

Also Biden opened with the fact that 30% of the people who have not yet been vaccinated have said that they’re considering it due to the omicron variant. That statistic seems to be from this survey linked by NPR News. The quote in the title is directly from Biden’s speech, and he emphasized that it’s a patriotic responsibility to protect others and that we should unite in this cause. I hope these measures are enough and that the vaccinations and medications are effective against omicron. It really seems like they will be, but we can only wait and see.

President Biden’s speech (As a side note I’m happy the White House turns off comments and that the dislike button has been rendered useless by YouTube):

Dr. Fauci’s overview:


Photos credit: InStar

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16 Responses to “President Biden on his winter covid plan: ‘it’s become a political issue, which is sad’”

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  1. MrsGuyIncognito says:

    I like Joe, but it’s long past time to stop expecting GQP’ers to become rational, or tiptoe around their feelings. Impose restrictions on people who are not vaccinated- plain and simple. I have had a sibling die from this & my husband has cancer, so I live in a constant state of panic & fear because of these soulless morons & I am donezo

  2. Gab says:

    I don’t like Biden OR Trump (though I’m on board with the plan announced yesterday) AND I’m triple vaxxed and my kids (5 and 8) are also vaccinated. It’s possible you can be all those things at once.

  3. Case says:

    Really, really wish we’d bring back mask mandates. I know that’s more of a CDC call and state choice than a Biden call, but I feel like the vast majority of those who are going to get vaccinated have already done so, and the best way everyone can be protected is if those who are unvaxxed wear a freaking mask.

    • AmberMarie says:

      4 months pregnant and wishing this would happen every single day. My state is 48% and my area is only 40% vaccinated. It’s terrifying.

  4. Twin falls says:

    I fully support vaccine mandates. Let’s go Joe!

    Accessible testing is a big deal. Going through my own experience trying to get my family a rapid test really opened my eyes to gaps in availability and how it would be so much easier to not test and go on about your life versus quarantining 3 days on a maybe.

    • Amy Too says:

      Same about accessible testing. I wrote a comment further down about the lack of at home testing kits and the fact that they’re practically hidden in my pharmacy. My FIL was looking around the pharmacy shelves for one, couldn’t find it, asked at the pharmacy counter bc he thought maybe they were behind the counter, they told him they’re in the photo department (???), went to look around there, couldn’t find them, there was no one at the photo counter to ask, so he went and stood in line at the check out counter to ask them to point out where they were, had to wait for that person to not have anymore check outs, then that person took him back to photo where the at home covid tests were behind the photo counter, which is often unstaffed so there’s no one to get them for you. They’re hiding them behind the photo counter and he was only allowed to buy 2 kits because they’re in such short supply. The whole outing took him about an hour of wandering the store, waiting in various lines to ask people, looking on every single shelf. It was so bad. No one has time for that. Especially if they think they’re already sick. Why do you want sick people wandering your store for an hour searching for tests that they won’t be able to find anyways?

  5. DC girl says:

    I’m trying hard to understand the logic of the travel bans. Fauci couldn’t even answer it in the last press conference. Require 7 day quarantine traveling by air into U.S. but honestly the southern border is wide open, no testing or vax requirements. Please explain to me the logic? It’s like double bolting the front door but leaving the back door open. And this is not a political statement on immigration or the border.

    • Twin falls says:

      I’ve been convinced that travel bans don’t work for their intended purpose and harm the countries/people in the restricted countries and reduce the likelihood of people/countries being forthright in the future.

    • DeeSea says:

      I’ve been learning a lot through the newsletter by “Your Local Epidemiologist.” She’s been explaining (through science and data) how travel bans are both ineffective and in some ways harmful. She’s been staying on top of the omicron developments as well. It’s pretty science-heavy, but she writes in a way that makes it understandable.

    • maddie says:

      There is a vaccination requirement for all non-essential travelers who are foreign nationals entering at land borders. All essential travelers at land borders (people with work visas, truckers, and diplomats) will need to be vaccinated to cross land borders in 2022.

  6. Lala11_7 says:

    I don’t need to like my politicians…I just need them to be EFFECTIVE and to act like they give a DAMN about a SERIOUS public health crisis and that’s what EVERY Democratic POTUS in my lifetime has showcased…including Biden and it is Biden’s job to reach out to Republican voters…he’s doing what he’s supposed to do as the CEO of the whole country….I have watched political pettiness decimate this country….


    • Lilly (with the double-L) says:

      Agreed @Lala11_7 and there’s no comfort in knowing history will look back at the ignorance and mistakes with a big “WTF!?!” about this period of time and lives just thrown away. Biden is doing his job and I’m very happy about vaccines finally going to other, and poorer, countries. So I hold onto the positives like this and find I do find joy in some situations.

  7. Amy Too says:

    It’s so hard to get these at home over the counter testing kits in my state at least. They hide them behind the photo counter—the PHOTO COUNTER—in my local Walgreens. You have to ask for them, and there’s usually no one standing behind the photo counter. We need way more of these at home testing kits and they need to be visible in stores. I read an article saying that there are hundreds of different at home testing kits waiting for approval, but there’s such a backlog at the FDA that they’re not able to approve these things quickly. So there are all sorts of companies ready to launch at home testing kits, scale up, and offer them in large quantities, but they can’t get their paperwork through the FDA bc the FDA is so far behind. It’s maddening.

  8. Jessica says:

    I support vaccine mandates- enough is enough already. Stop letting the tantrums of the few hold the majority hostage.

  9. RoyalGirzWin says:

    YouTube turned off the dislike button on Biden’s videos because he is becoming the most unpopular president of all time. His poll numbers are bottoming out. Still have no idea why we couldn’t get a good dem to run for president, not this dried-up dementia racist white man.

    Not vaxxed, not boostered, never been tested, no mask, haven’t been sick. No way am I going to take the Trump vaccine even if Biden is selling it. Used to work in microbiology and love to keep up on publications, so thankfully kept my family from joining the sheeple and getting that useless shot.

    You know they want everyone to get it so there will be no control group. I just feel sorry for all of the wanting to do the right thing ignorant people who wanted to trust Trump, Biden, Fauci, etc. We have been lied to by big pharm, scientists, governments, and the world. Just hope the vax isn’t as dangerous as predicted since I have loved ones who were misled or forced to get it to feed their family.