WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — The FDA authorized an optional second booster shot against the virus for millions of Americans, and the Biden administration is laying out a new strategy to help Americans live with COVID-19.
The White House strategy involves a comprehensive website and new places where people can get tests and anti-viral pills. The administration is asking for $22 billion in new funding to make it work.
COVID.gov is a one-stop shop for COVID-19 resources and a tool meant to help Americans live with the pandemic.
“It means COVID-19 no longer controls our lives, that’s what it means,” Biden said.
With the click of a button, people can find tests, vaccines, and treatments in one place. But to keep those resources available, the president is again asking Congress for $22 billion in new funding.
“Without more funding, we risk running out of the supplies by this fall,” he said.
About $15 billion in COVID spending was recently stripped out of the omnibus bill, and many members of Congress — especially republicans — are resistant to the idea of more pandemic spending.
“Democrats flooded the economy with unnecessary government money and the economy overheated as a result,” said Sen. John Thune (R-SD).
“We don’t know where the waste and fraud is going,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said.
Meanwhile, the White House is also working to facilitate the rollout of a second booster shot after the FDA approved a second booster for people 50 and older and those who are immunocompromised.
“It’s clear that after a period of time that you can get a benefit of an optimal amount of protection if you get an additional boost,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical advisor.
Biden has received his second booster and Fauci encourages people with health problems to get it, too.
“We want to stay ahead of this virus,” Fauci said. “We don’t want to be chasing it.”
A bipartisan group of senators is still negotiating a possible COVID funding package, although it appears the amount may be smaller than what the president is asking for.