Biden Officials Worry Pandemic Exhaustion Could Lead to Bad COVID Winter
Their focus is protecting seniors and the immunocompromised
Amid projections that tens of thousands of Americans could die needlessly this winter if they don’t get free (COVID) coronavirus vaccine shots or treatments, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain summoned health officials to a meeting last week with an urgent question: What can we do to prevent this?
What emerged from that session was a “fall playbook” to combat the virus that was timed to President Joe Biden receiving an updated coronavirus vaccination shot (his fifth dose overall) on Tuesday, according to four people who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment. The steps include enlisting Walgreens, DoorDash and Uber to provide free delivery of antiviral prescriptions, and focusing on convincing vulnerable Americans, including seniors, to get vaccinations and booster shots.
"As a country … we have a choice to make," Biden said, before rolling up his left shirt sleeve to get the new shot. If we repeat the mistakes of past winters, he warned, we will see "more infections, more hospitalizations, more loved ones getting sick, even dying, from the virus. Or can we have a much better winter, if we use all, all the tools we have available to us now," including reformulated booster shots and antiviral pills, such as Paxlovid.
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