Biden says Covid-19 need not control lives anymore

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Households are eligible for four free Covid tests per order. Families are limited to two orders starting next week based on residential address…reports Asian Lite News

United States has reached a “new moment” in the fight against Covid-19, said President Joe Biden, adding that the disease no longer needed to control lives, and most Americans in most of the country could now be “mask-free.”

Biden said the past two years had been among the “hardest years” in America’s history, according to a Hindustan Times report.

Rejecting the premise that one had to just “live with Covid-19”, Biden said that the US would continue to combat the virus and stay on guard, and announced a four-point plan moving forward – with a focus on vaccines and treatments, preparing for new variants, ending the shutdown of schools and businesses, and vaccinating the rest of the world, it was reported.

“For more than two years, Covid-19 has impacted every decision in our lives and the life of the nation. I know you are tired, frustrated, and exhausted. But I also know this. Because of the progress we have made…we are moving forward safely, back to more normal routines. We have reached a new moment in the fight against Covid-19.”

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Meanwhile, the US is set to launch a new programme that will enable Americans who test positive for Covid-19 to receive antiviral pills for free at local pharmacies and community health centers.

“We’re launching the ‘Test to Treat’ initiative so people can get tested at a pharmacy, and if they’re positive, receive antiviral pills on the spot at no cost,” CNBC quoted President Joe Biden as saying during his State of the Union speech Tuesday.

Besides antivirals, Biden said that Americans can also order more free Covid tests at the government’s website, covidtests.gov, next week.

Households are eligible for four free Covid tests per order. Families are limited to two orders starting next week based on residential address, the report said.

Although antiviral Paxlovid, made by Pfizer, have been relatively scarce since the Food and Drug Administration approved them late last year, Biden said that “Pfizer is working overtime to get us one million pills this month and more than double that next month.”

Biden said the US has reached a new moment in the pandemic, with cases of severe illness down to their lowest level since July.

In line with the new guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week, the president said that most Americans are now safe to live a mask free life.

“With 75 per cent of adult Americans fully vaccinated and hospitalisations down by 77 per cent, most Americans can remove their masks, return to work, stay in the classroom, and move forward safely,” Biden said.

He added that the US is prepared for new Covid variants, with the ability to deploy new vaccines within 100 days if needed.

“I cannot promise a new variant won’t come. But I can promise you we’ll do everything within our power to be ready if it does,” he said.

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