Details: Per NPR, the new White House plan outlines four goals to tackle COVID-19 moving forward:
- Protect against COVID-19 and offer treatments for COVID-19
- Prepare for any new COVID-19 variants that could arise
- Work to stop business and school shutdowns due to COVID-19
- Continue to help vaccinate the world against the virus.
Yes, but: The new White House plan calls on Congress to increase funding against COVID-19, allowing the government to buy treatments, increase testing supply and prepare for new COVID-19 variants that could pop up, according to NPR.
Flashback: President Joe Biden unveiled parts of this plan during his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, suggesting his agenda will shift toward ending the pandemic, as I reported for the Deseret News.
- Biden’s speech included the announcement of the new “Test to Treat” initiative, which will allow people to get a COVID-19 test at a pharmacy. And if you test positive for COVID-19 during that test, you will receive an antiviral pill on the spot at no extra cost.
- Similarly, the president announced Americans can request additional COVID-19 tests through the covidtests.gov website.
What he said: “I cannot promise a new variant won’t come. But I can promise you we’ll do everything within our power to be ready if it does,” Biden said.