White House Launches Amid Push For More Funds, Booster Shots

WASHINGTON, March 30 (Reuters) – The Biden administration on Wednesday launched a new website to provide a clearinghouse of information on COVID-19 as part of a continuing effort to prepare to live with the coronavirus. 

The launch of comes a day after U.S. health officials approves a second booster shot for Americans age 50 and older and those who are immunocompromised, two years after the start of the pandemic. Read full story

Nearly 982,000 people in the United States have died from COVID since early 2020 amid several waves of the disease, according to a Reuters analysis of local data. 

Although vaccines and increasingly available therapies for COVID have staved off severe illness and deaths, public health officials are monitoring BA.2, an Omicron subvariant that swept through during the winter and now accounts for more than half of all U.S. cases. Read full story

While U.S. officials have said they do not expect a major surge, they say COVID cases could rise — reflecting the administration’s position that the country must learn to live with and adapt to this coronavirus. 

President Joe Biden is scheduled to deliver remarks on the status of the country’s fight against COVID-19 at the White House at 1:30 p.m. (1700 GMT).

Even the White House has not been immune to the virus, as several members of its communications office, including White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, recently tested positive for the illness a second time last week. 

Biden has asked Congress for another tranche of funding to pay for current vaccinations and treatments as well as to shore up the nation’s preparedness for future outbreaks, but the money was left out of the most recent federal government funding bill.

Congressional Democrats have said they will take up COVID funding separately but so far have not done so. The White House in mid-March warned it would run out of supplies soon without more support. Read full story

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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Written by Reuters


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