On March 2, 2022, the White House unveiled President Biden’s new National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. According to the official press release, the United States is moving forward with resuming more normal routines.
The new plan has put out four objectives: to protect against and treat COVID, to prepare for any new variants, to prevent economic and school shutdowns, and to vaccinate the world and save lives. The plan was made with the assistance of public health leaders, governors, and federal agency partners.
When the pandemic struck two years ago, the United States did not have the tools to protect and treat COVID-19. Today, precautionary items are widely available, with 216 million Americans being fully vaccinated and two out of every three of those eligible having booster shots. Those who have had the vaccine and booster have a very high level of protection against the virus, and it is highly unlikely they will end up hospitalized in the event they contract COVID.
The Preparedness Plan details how the federal government will continue to work with community partners, governors, state and local health officials to administer even more vaccines and boosters. A vaccine for children under the age of five is also in development. In addition to these resources, the United States has an ample supply of medications to treat COVID-19, including monoclonal antibodies, antiviral pills, and preventative therapies. The press release called Pfizer’s COVID pill a “gamechanger,” noting its 90% effectiveness at preventing hospitalization from the virus.
Part of the plan is a “Test to Treat” initiative. This will allow people to get tested for COVID-19 and receive treatment in one step and for free. Hundreds of these sites will open across the nation during the month of March. The Preparedness Plan further ensures that important tools like test kits and N-95 masks will be widely available and free of charge. Free COVID tests can be ordered from the government, and beginning the week of March 9, homes will be able to place a second order for these tests.
Later this month, the White House will launch a website to serve as a go-to where people can find locations offering masks and vaccines and get the latest information on COVID-19 in their community.
Thanks to these tools and groundbreaking research that has improved our understanding of the COVID-19 virus, the United States is poised to complete its mission of protecting the health and well-being of every American.