Biden warns that the United States will not have enough Covid vaccines without the help of Congress

United States President Joe Biden receives a second booster vaccination against coranavirus disease (COVID-19) after commenting on COVID-19 in the Southern Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House in Washington, D.C. USA, March 30, 2022.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

President Joe Biden warned Wednesday that the United States will not have enough Covid vaccines in this case to ensure free and easy access for all Americans if Congress fails to surpass the $ 22.5 billion in additional funding required by the US. administration.

Biden said the US has enough stocks to ensure that people eligible for the fourth strike have access to them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week recommended an additional dose of Pfizer or Moderna for people aged 50 and over, as well as for some younger individuals who have compromised immune systems.

Biden, 79, received his fourth dose on live television following his remarks.

As the country enters a new phase of its vaccination drive, the president has called on Congress to take action to ensure the United States has the resources it needs should another wave of infection emerge.

“Americans are back to living their lives again,” Biden said. “We can’t give up. Congress, please take action. You must act immediately. The consequences of inaction are serious, will only increase with time.”

New infections and hospitalizations have plummeted by more than 90% since the peak of the winter omicron wave in January. However, the decline in infections has slowed and stabilized in recent days as a more contagious ommicron sub-variant, BA.2, has become the dominant version of Covid in the United States. BA.2 has already caused new waves of infection in Europe and China.

White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said earlier this month that BA.2 is likely to increase infections in the United States. He does not expect another increase in cases.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Washington state predicts that infections will continue to decline during the spring and summer. However, Ali Mokdad, an epidemiologist from IHME, said another increase could occur in the fall as vaccine immunity wanes and people move indoors during colder weather.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress failed to reach a bipartisan deal on $ 15 billion in Covid funding, less than the White House’s request. Republicans want to cover any new spending by cutting funds already allocated to state and local governments. The Democrats rejected this request.

Negotiations underway in the Chamber and the Senate to find a compromise.

Biden also warned that the US will not have the money to ramp up testing, monoclonal antibody treatments, and antiviral pills if another wave of Covid sweeps the US.

The president also unveiled a new government website, covid.gov, where Americans can find out where they can get face masks, tests, vaccines and treatments.

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