President BidenJoe BidenMadame Tussauds unveils new Biden and Harris figures US raises concerns about Russian troop movements to Belarus Putin tests a model for invading Ukraine, outwitting Biden's diplomats MORE further detailed his winter plan to combat COVID-19 within the United States in an op-ed Thursday, reiterating his vow that there would not be “shutdowns or lockdowns.”
“We are going to fight COVID-19 not with shutdowns or lockdowns – but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more. We will beat it back with science and speed, not chaos and confusion – just as we did in the spring and again with the more powerful delta variant in the summer and fall,” Biden wrote in his op-ed published in USA Today.
Biden’s plan largely calls for a doubling down on getting the COVID-19 vaccine and booster shots for Americans who are eligible. He said the nationwide booster campaign would be expanded to incorporate more walk-in appointments, longer hours and weekends.
He also noted that his administration would reach out to the more than 60 million Americans who have Medicare while pharmacies reach out via email and texts to tell their customers to get their vaccine doses.
To accommodate those seeking to get vaccinated together, he also said that his administration would be launching family vaccination clinics so families could receive the vaccine at one spot.
Biden also pledged that at-home COVID-19 test kits would be covered by insurance companies or provided free for people to pick up if they did not have private insurance coverage.
The president also suggested that the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention may weigh in on ways for schools to remain open amid the COVID-19 pandemic as the country sees more cases from the newly detected omicron variant.
“Today, over 99% of schools are open, and we need to make sure we keep it that way this winter,” Biden wrote. “While vaccinating our kids is critical to keeping our schools open, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also reviewing new approaches to keep our children in school instead of quarantining at home.”
The winter plan comes as cases of the new omicron variant have been confirmed in multiple states, with Biden stressing that “while it is a cause for concern, it is not a cause for panic.”
“Experts say that COVID-19 cases will continue to rise in the weeks ahead this winter, and that we will see more omicron cases here in the United States in the days, weeks and months ahead. Our best scientists and doctors are on the case and gathering data, but early indications are that our vaccines will provide a measure of protection against this strain,” Biden said.