The Biden administration will deploy 1,000 medical personnel from the military to help hospitals struggling from COVID-19-related inundations and staff shortages, and will purchase 500 million rapid tests to mail out to the public beginning in January. In addition, the federal government will create new testing sites in areas of New York City to combat a winter surge. The White House plans to set up a website where people can request free at-home testing kits.
The actions come as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly, representing 73% of all U.S. cases. So far, the variant appears milder and more contagious than the Delta COVID-19 variant. Reports across the spectrum suggest that people who are vaccinated and boosted if infected with Omicron, seem to experience mild symptoms or none at all.
Outlets across the spectrum, especially on the right, highlighted how White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki sarcastically dismissed the idea of mailing out at-home tests and questioned the potential cost of such a plan during a press conference on Dec. 6.