September 10, 2021 – President Joe Biden addressed the nation on Thursday night with his new ‘Exit the Pandemic’ plan, a six-point agenda to put the country on track to defeat COVID-19, primarily through through more vaccination warrants, increased testing and masking requirements.
Under the new plan, vaccination will be required for about two-thirds of the country’s workforce, or 100 million workers.
Currently, the United States averages 150,000 new cases and 1,500 deaths every day, CNN reported.
“If we increase our vaccination rate, protect ourselves and others with masks and extensive testing, and identify those infected, we can and will turn the tide of COVID-19,” Biden said in his speech .
There have been many reactions to various points of the President’s new plan.
Vaccinate the unvaccinated
More than 175 million Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but more than 80 million eligible Americans have not received a vaccine.
The president said it was essential that more of the unvaccinated population be vaccinated if we are to completely defeat the virus.
To encourage this, he signed executive orders for additional vaccine mandates.
Employers with more than 100 employees must require either COVID-19 vaccination or weekly testing for workers.
The new plan also requires vaccinations for federal workers and millions of federal government contractors, as well as vaccination mandates for more than 17 million healthcare workers in hospitals and clinics that participate in Medicare and Medicaid.
Some people have said they will likely quit their jobs during the new vaccine mandates.
But others are trying to remind people that weekly testing is still an option for many unvaccinated Americans.
While the #IwillNOTComply hashtag was trending on Twitter after Biden’s speech, many people said they would gladly take jobs from those protesting the warrants.
Protect the vaccinee more
Biden said his administration would be ready to offer COVID-19 booster shots as early as September 20, based on FDA and CDC approval.
The president’s plan says the boosters will be free and available in more than 80,000 locations across the country, in places like doctors’ offices, pharmacies and other health centers.
“The decision of which booster shots to give, when to start them and who will give them will be entirely up to scientists at the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control,” Biden said. “But while we wait, we’ve done our part. We have purchased enough boosters – enough booster doses – and the delivery system is ready to deliver them. “
Many expressed relief at receiving a third dose of the vaccine.
While others remain confused about the science behind COVID-19 recalls and vaccines.
Keeping schools safe
The president’s plan adds new vaccine mandates and school safety measures to ensure a safe, in-person learning environment for students, teachers and staff.
Ninety percent of teachers and school staff across the country are vaccinated, Biden said.
Currently, vaccines are approved for children 12 years of age and older.
“What about children under 12 who cannot yet be vaccinated? Well, the best way for a parent to protect their child under 12 starts at home. Every parent, every teenage brother, every caregiver around them should be immunized, ”Biden said.
His plan will require immunization of teachers and staff in the Head Start and Early Head Start programs and schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Education, as well as staff in the Department of Defense children and youth programs.
“As with adults, almost all of the severe cases of COVID-19 we see in adolescents are in unvaccinated 12 to 17-year-olds – an age group that lags behind in vaccination rates,” said Biden. “So, parents, please get your teenager vaccinated. “
Some parents said they were reassured to send their children to schools with COVID-19 safety measures in place.
While other parents find in-person learning too risky at this time.
Increased requirements for tests and masks
Biden has made it clear that even with new vaccine warrants, COVID-19 masking and testing is just as critical as ever.
The president’s plan says that with more aggressive production of COVID-19 rapid tests, take-out tests will cost less from the end of the week, and the free COVID-19 test program in pharmacies will be expanded.
Biden said masking requirements will always be in place at airports, as well as on some forms of public transport, such as planes and buses.
But with the new plan, those who fail to meet the requirements will face a double fine.
Despite the higher fines, some say travel warrants have been difficult to enforce.
Protect our economic recovery
To avoid turning back the clock on the country’s economic progress, the president announced an expansion of loan programs in the event of the COVID-19 economic disaster.
The program will now allow small businesses to borrow up to $ 2 million, up from $ 500,000 originally, to solve the money problems caused by the pandemic.
The loans are low interest rate and require no repayment for 2 years.
Improving care for people with COVID-19
The president also announced that the Defense Ministry would double the number of military health teams sent to help hospitals across the country.
Biden said new drugs will become more and more available and are recommended by “real doctors, not conspiracy theorists.”
“Monoclonal antibody treatments have been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization by up to 70% for unvaccinated people at risk of developing serious illnesses,” Biden said. “Tonight, I am announcing that we will increase the average rate of shipping across the country of free monoclonal antibody treatments by an additional 50%.”