Biden Bits: Long Overdue…

Biden Tweets Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

It’s Wednesday.

When Biden Bits was posted for Tuesday, President Biden had tweeted 1 time. He added 9 tweets giving him a Tuesday Tweeting Total of 10 tweets and 0 retweets.

The YouTube is 14 minutes and 2 seconds long. Their full remarks can be found here.

The White House posted the following Joint-Leaders’ Statement:

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. is honored to welcome Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong to Washington, D.C. The U.S.-Singapore strategic partnership is anchored in our shared respect for the rules-based international order, adherence to international law, and the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter – including respect for sovereignty, the peaceful resolution of disputes, cooperation among nations, and fundamental human rights. These principles have underpinned decades of unprecedented peace and stability as well as economic and social development, in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world.

The United States and Singapore recognize that threats to the UN Charter and rules-based international order anywhere, including Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, place peace and prosperity everywhere at risk. The war in Ukraine has a negative impact on the Indo-Pacific region, which already faces many complex challenges. Taken together, the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century demand deeper cooperation between us.

The leaders welcome the enduring strength of the bilateral strategic partnership, marked by Singapore’s unique status as a Major Security Cooperation Partner, by the 5,400 U.S. companies that call Singapore home, by the countries’ close people-to-people ties, and by the series of high-level bilateral visits during the first year of the Biden-Harris Administration. The leaders resolve to further expand bilateral cooperation, taking bold new steps to drive broad-based economic growth and innovation, raise infrastructure standards in the region, address the climate crisis, promote health security, increase supply chain resilience, improve cybersecurity, ensure the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, and more. As we strengthen our partnership, we will promote a world in which all nations, large and small, can stand together as equals to tackle the most pressing challenges of our era and deliver for our people.

White House.gov. 03/29/2022.

Upholding the Rules-Based International Order

President Biden reiterates the sustained and growing commitment of the United States to its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region, as described in the Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States. President Biden and Prime Minister Lee reaffirm their strong support for ASEAN Centrality and the ASEAN-centered regional architecture. Prime Minister Lee welcomes President Biden’s invitation to ASEAN leaders for a historic ASEAN-U.S. Special Summit in Washington, D.C. The leaders highlight the success of the U.S.-Singapore Third Country Training Program, which has received more than 1700 officials from across ASEAN. The United States seeks cooperation with all partners who share our objectives in the Indo-Pacific region, and to that end, we welcome the Quad’s support for ASEAN Centrality, deeper economic integration, addressing of regional challenges, and promotion of an open, inclusive, stable and secure Indo-Pacific region and a rules-based order. We also welcome the enhanced engagement of European and regional partners in Southeast Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region.

The United States and Singapore emphasize our unwavering commitment to the principles of sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, and condemn Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, which clearly violates international law, including the United Nations Charter. The United States and Singapore recognize the need to preserve a world in which borders cannot be changed by force and state-to-state relations are guided by international law. Given the unprovoked attack on Ukraine, many countries across the Atlantic and the Pacific, including the United States and Singapore, have imposed their own financial sanctions and export controls against Russian entities. The United States and Singapore will ensure the effective implementation of their respective measures. The United States and Singapore are deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in and around Ukraine, and call on all parties to allow safe and unfettered passage of civilians, facilitate unhindered access to humanitarian assistance for those in need in Ukraine, protect civilians, and respect human rights.

Amid global security challenges, the United States and Singapore continue to build on our partnership to pursue our shared interests. The leaders reaffirm a shared commitment to the goal of the complete denuclearization and the establishment of a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. Both leaders call on the DPRK to engage in serious and sustained diplomacy and emphasize the importance of full implementation of relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. The leaders underscore the importance of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and encourage the peaceful resolution of disputes. President Biden and Prime Minister Lee also reflected on the close counterterrorism partnership shared by the United States and Singapore, and Singapore’s support of the United States relocation efforts related to Afghanistan last year.

In the maritime domain, the United States and Singapore reaffirm the right of freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the seas accorded by international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). We reaffirm the need to pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS, which sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out. We respect states’ ability to conserve, sustainably develop, and effectively manage their maritime natural resources in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS. We reaffirm that all concerned parties must abide by the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and reiterate our support for ASEAN-led efforts to develop an effective and substantive Code of Conduct for the South China Sea that upholds the legitimate rights and interests of all parties and is consistent with UNCLOS. We also affirm the importance of acting consistently with the relevant Standards and Recommended Practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the relevant instruments and conventions of the International Maritime Organization.

The United States and Singapore share deep concerns about the situation in Myanmar and the challenges it poses to regional stability. We continue to call for an end to violence against civilians in Myanmar, the release of all political detainees, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and foreign detainees; unhindered humanitarian access; and for Myanmar to return to its path of democratic transition. We appreciate the constructive role played by Singapore and ASEAN in facilitating a peaceful solution in the interest of the people of Myanmar, and we call for the Myanmar military regime to urgently implement the ASEAN Five Point Consensus. We are concerned the crisis has reversed years of economic progress in Myanmar and increased the risk of illicit finance.

White House.gov. 03/29/2022.

Driving Inclusive Prosperity and Addressing Emerging Challenges

President Biden and Prime Minister Lee underscore their shared commitment to promoting broad-based economic growth in the United States, in Singapore, and throughout the region. They reaffirm the close collaboration between the United States and Singapore on developing an Indo-Pacific economic framework with regional partners that will expand cooperation on trade, supply chains, clean energy, decarbonization, infrastructure, tax, and anti-corruption. They welcome Thailand’s leadership as host of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2022, and look forward to the United States hosting APEC in 2023. The leaders reviewed ongoing efforts to facilitate regional trade and increase supply chain resilience and looked forward to the implementation of the U.S.-ASEAN Economic Futures initiative.

The leaders also look forward to expanding economic cooperation under the U.S.-Singapore Partnership for Growth and Innovation (PGI), which aims to secure inclusive growth for our economies and regions in new and forward-looking areas: digital economy, energy and environmental technology, advanced manufacturing, and health services. New initiatives announced under the PGI include the development of interoperable ethical Artificial Intelligence governance frameworks, and plans for a U.S. business development mission to Singapore to facilitate new business opportunities and strengthen partnerships in advanced manufacturing.

President Biden and Prime Minister Lee commit to deepening cooperation between the United States and Singapore on high quality infrastructure development in the region. To that end, the United States and Singapore renewed and expanded the MOU to deepen cooperation on infrastructure development to cover new collaborations in green and sustainable infrastructure projects in the region that address social and economic needs and promote inclusive, private sector-led growth.

The climate crisis poses an existential threat to the world. Recognizing the need to enhance ambition in this decisive decade, the United States has put forward an ambitious target to achieve a 50-52 percent reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution in 2030 and to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050, and Singapore has announced it will raise its climate ambition to achieve net-zero emissions by or around mid-century, and will be making a formal revision to both its Nationally Determined Contribution and Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) later this year after consulting closely with key stakeholders. We commit to strengthening the U.S.-Singapore Climate Partnership, and we look forward to working with other countries to implement the Paris Agreement. President Biden and Prime Minister Lee recognize that decarbonizing the shipping sector is essential to transitioning to a clean energy economy and they commit to working together to advance green shipping, including by establishing alternative bunkering infrastructure for the provision of low- and zero-carbon fuels at our ports.

The United States and Singapore highlight their shared commitment to bolstering global health security and building back better from the COVID-19 pandemic, and preparing for further pandemics and other shocks to health systems. We must work with allies and partners to strengthen and finance vaccine readiness and accelerate efforts to control COVID-19 globally, for example by working with global health organizations such as the World Health Organization, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
The United States and Singapore affirm the importance of ensuring that critical and emerging technologies foster an open, accessible, and secure technology ecosystem, based on mutual trust, confidence, and respect for a rules-based international order. To this end, we commit to increasing resiliency in our technology supply chains, and developing robust approaches to data governance and security, seeking consistency and interoperability where feasible. We also plan to explore R&D and other collaborations, including through the PGI, in order to progress towards affordable, resilient, secure and interoperable advanced high-speed wireless communications (“NextG”) in the Indo-Pacific region.

The United States and Singapore maintain a strong and growing partnership on cybersecurity. We seek global adherence to the UN framework of responsible state behavior in cyberspace and pledge to deepen our cooperation on combating cyber threats, promoting resilience, and securing our critical infrastructure, amongst other issues. We welcome the establishment of the United States-Singapore Cyber Dialogue to cement our cross institutional linkages to jointly tackle cybersecurity issues. We will continue to jointly lead critical efforts in the International Counter Ransomware Initiative to tackle the surge in ransomware attacks worldwide.

The United States and Singapore believe in the importance of creating a safe, stable, secure, and sustainable space environment that facilitates space exploration, science, and commercial activities that benefit all of humanity. President Biden welcomes Singapore’s commitment to the Artemis Accords. President Biden and Prime Minister Lee also welcome the convening of a United States-Singapore Space Dialogue.

Today’s challenges all demand closer cooperation between us. For many decades the United States and Singapore have worked together to overcome the challenges of the day, and we will continue to do so, with determination and resolve. Together, we are deepening our strategic partnership to seize opportunities and address emerging threats. We are defending and strengthening the rules-based international order that has long supported global security and prosperity, and will continue to do so long into the future.

White House.gov. 03/29/2022.

President Biden: Welcome back to the White House. I’m honored to welcome Prime Minister Lee to the White House today.  And I’m proud — and I mean this sincerely — I’m really proud of the partnership that — between Singapore and the United States.  It’s as close and as strong as it’s ever been.

President Biden: Today, Singapore and the United States are united in sending the message to all nations — to all nations, regardless of their size or population: They are equal in the right — in their rights on the global stage.  They have a right to sovereignty and territorial integrity and to determine their own future free from violence and intimidation.

President Biden: And I — we’re going to continue to deepen our partnership and seize the opportunities to meet the challenges of the moment and to meet them together: fighting COVID-19, making sure we’re prepared for the next pandemic; increasing our climate ambitions and working to decarbonize the shipping sector; cooperating on everything from cybersecurity to space exploration; promoting a broad-based economic growth throughout the Indo-Pacific, including by working together to develop an Indo-Pacific economic framework that will drive enduring prosperity across the region.

President Biden: So, thank you, again, Prime Minister Lee.  I always appreciate consulting with you.  And as I’ve told you, both you and Singapore punch way above your weight — way above your weight.  And I value the time we spend together, and I look forward to many more meetings. 

The YouTube is 23 minutes and 51 seconds long. His full remarks can be found here.

In a rare occurrence the bill was signed prior to remarks.

President Biden: Well, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.  I just signed into law the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, making lynching — (applause) — a federal hate crime for the first time in American history.

The Russia/Ukraine tweet…

The White House posted the following readout:

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom.  The leaders affirmed their determination to continue raising costs on Russia for its brutal attacks in Ukraine, as well as to continue supplying Ukraine with security assistance to defend itself against this unjustified and unprovoked assault.  They reviewed their efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the millions affected by the violence, both inside Ukraine and seeking refuge in other countries, and underscored the need for humanitarian access to civilians in Mariupol. They also discussed the importance of supporting stable energy markets in light of current disruptions due to sanctions.

White House.gov. 03/292022.

The VinFast announcement tweet…

His full statement:

Today’s announcement that the electric vehicle maker VinFast will build an electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facility in North Carolina – $4 billion to create more than 7,000 jobs and hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles and batteries – is the latest example of my economic strategy at work. It builds on recent announcements from companies like GM, Ford, and Siemens to invest in America again and create jobs.  Our efforts to build a clean energy economy are driving companies to make more in America rebuild our supply chains here at home, and ultimately bring down costs for the American people.

Since taking office, we have implemented an industrial strategy to revitalize domestic manufacturing with create good-paying American jobs, strengthen American supply chains, and supercharge the industries of the future like electric vehicles – and we see that strategy paying off day after day. Last year, I signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build out EV charging infrastructure and brought together the United Autoworkers and automakers at the White House to sign an executive order to get 50% electric vehicle sales share in 2030.

Congress has an opportunity with competitiveness legislation like the Bipartisan Innovation Act to double down on the progress we’ve made rebuilding our industrial base to create more good-paying jobs, make more in America – including semiconductors needed by our auto industry – and lower prices for working families.

White House.gov. 03/29/2022.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) announced on Tuesday that VinFast a Vietnamese automaker had selected; North Carolina for its first North American automotive assembly and battery manufacturing plant, creating 7,500 jobs.

He said in a statement; North Carolina is quickly becoming the center of our country’s emerging, clean energy economy. VinFast’s transformative project will bring many good jobs to our state, along with a healthier environment as more electric vehicles take to the road to help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

VinFast Global CEO and Vingroup Vice Chair Le Thi Thu Thuy said in a statement; North Carolina’s strong commitments in building a clean energy economy, fighting climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in transportation make it an ideal location for VinFast to develop its premium, smart and environmentally friendly EVs. Having a production facility right in the market will help VinFast to proactively manage its supply chain, maintain stablized prices and shorten product supply time, making VinFast’s Evs more accessible to customers, contributing to the realization of local environmental improvement goals

VinFast says that construction on the project will start in 2022; after a construction permit is granted and production is expected to start in July, 2024. The capacity of phase 1 is expected to be 150,000 vehicles per year. According to the MOU, VinFast will continue to invest in this factory in future phases. Vehicles to be produced at the site include the VinFast VF 9, a 7-passenger all-electric Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) and the VinFast VF 8, a 5-passenger, all-electric mid-size SUV.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that the company’s initial investment will be $2 billion with the company saying it’s total investment will be an estimated $4 billion in “its first U.S. factory complex.”

The Proclamation Tweet…

The full Proclamation:

On National Vietnam War Veterans Day, we honor all those who bravely served in the Vietnam War and who sacrificed, as did their families and caregivers, on behalf of our Nation.

For almost two decades, Americans raised their right hands and committed to serve and defend our Constitution as uniformed members of the United States Armed Forces during a tumultuous period in our country’s history.  Throughout the years of the Vietnam War, 9 million Americans earned the title of United States veteran.  Today and every day, we honor their bravery and commitment and give thanks to a generation of Americans who valiantly fought in service of the country they love while recognizing the continuing impact on so many veterans of the Vietnam conflict, along with their families, caregivers, and survivors.  We will always remember those we lost and honor those who came home.

In 2012, our Nation launched a 13-year long commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War to ensure that every veteran, family, caregiver, and survivor impacted by the difficult years in Vietnam feels our Nation’s gratitude for their sacrifice.  Every service member of the Vietnam generation should know that their sacrifices mattered and that their service made a difference.  The names etched in The Wall at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial remind us of our loved ones who gave their all and never came home.  To the families, caregivers, and survivors of the more than 58,000 service members whose names are memorialized in the black granite, we pledge to never forget the eternal sacrifice of your loved ones and what you have sacrificed for the Nation.

To the families of the over 1,500 service members who remain missing and unaccounted for, know that our Nation’s efforts to bring them home will never stop.

We pledge our steadfast care and support to our Vietnam veterans, as we do for all of our veterans.  We will honor our sacred obligation to you and your family.

And to each of the 6 million Vietnam War era veterans who are with us today, we honor your service and all that you have done for our Nation.

White House.gov. 03/28/2022.

For Wednesday, March 30th, 2022, President Biden has received his daily brief. This afternoon he will deliver remarks on the status of the country’s fight against COVID-19.

On Tuesday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that they have authorized a second booster of Pfizer and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations.

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for older people and certain immunocompromised individuals. The FDA previously authorized a single booster dose for certain immunocompromised individuals following completion of a three-dose primary vaccination series. This action will now make a second booster dose of these vaccines available to other populations at higher risk for severe disease, hospitalization and death. Emerging evidence suggests that a second booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine improves protection against severe COVID-19 and is not associated with new safety concerns.
The agency amended the emergency use authorizations as follows: 

FDA.gov. 03/29/2022.
  • A second booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered to individuals 50 years of age and older at least 4 months after receipt of a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.
  • A second booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered to individuals 12 years of age and older with certain kinds of immunocompromise at least 4 months after receipt of a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine. These are people who have undergone solid organ transplantation, or who are living with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise.
  • A second booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered at least 4 months after the first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine to individuals 18 years of age and older with the same certain kinds of immunocompromise.

“Current evidence suggests some waning of protection over time against serious outcomes from COVID-19 in older and immunocompromised individuals. Based on an analysis of emerging data, a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine could help increase protection levels for these higher-risk individuals,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “Additionally, the data show that an initial booster dose is critical in helping to protect all adults from the potentially severe outcomes of COVID-19. So, those who have not received their initial booster dose are strongly encouraged to do so.”

Today’s action applies only to the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines and the authorization of a single booster dose for other age groups with these vaccines remains unchanged. The agency will continue to evaluate data and information as it becomes available when considering the potential use of a second booster dose in other age groups. 

The FDA-authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and the FDA-approved Comirnaty can be used to provide the authorized booster dose(s). Similarly, the FDA-authorized Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and the FDA-approved Spikevax are authorized to provide the authorized booster dose(s).

FDA.gov. 03/29/2022.

Information to Support Authorization of a Second COVID-19 Booster Dose

The FDA has determined that the known and potential benefits of a second COVID-19 vaccine booster dose with either of these vaccines outweigh their known and potential risks in these populations. The evidence considered for authorization of a second booster dose following primary vaccination and first booster dose included safety and immune response information provided to the agency as well as additional information on effectiveness submitted by the companies. 

A summary of safety surveillance data provided to the FDA by the Ministry of Health of Israel on the administration of approximately 700,000 fourth (second booster) doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine given at least 4 months after the third dose in adults 18 years of age and older (approximately 600,000 of whom were 60 years of age or older) revealed no new safety concerns. 

The safety of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, when administered as a second booster dose, is informed by experience with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and safety information reported from an independently conducted study in which the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine was administered as a second booster dose to 120 participants 18 years of age and older who had received a two-dose primary series and a first booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine at least 4 months prior. No new safety concerns were reported during up to three weeks of follow up after the second booster dose.

Immunogenicity data from an ongoing, open-label, non-randomized clinical study in healthcare workers at a single center in Israel were reported in a publication provided to the FDA. In this study, individuals 18 years of age and older who had received primary vaccination and a first booster dose with Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine were administered a second booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (154 individuals) or Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (120 individuals) at least four months after the first booster dose. Among these individuals, increases in neutralizing antibody levels against SARS-CoV-2 virus, including delta and omicron variants were reported two weeks after the second booster as compared to 5 months after the first booster dose.

The amendments to the EUAs to include a second booster dose for these populations were granted to Pfizer Inc. and ModernaTX Inc.

FDA.gov. 03/29/2022.

The White House has published a fact-sheet; Biden Administration Launches COVID.gov, a New One-Stop Shop Website for Vaccines, Tests, Treatments, Masks, and the Latest COVID-⁠19 Information

Website will Feature a New Test-to-Treat Locator Tool to Help People Access the Over 2,000 Locations that Offer COVID-19 Tests and Antiviral Pills at One Convenient Location

Administration Continues to Urge Congress to Provide Funding Immediately to Help Keep These Life-Saving Protections Readily Available to All

Today, the Biden Administration is launching COVID.gov, a new one-stop shop website to help all people in the United States gain even better access to lifesaving tools like vaccines, tests, treatments, and masks, as well as get the latest updates on COVID-19 in their area. The Administration has worked over the past 14 months to set up over 90,000 vaccination sites, make more than 400 million high-quality masks available for free, send free tests to peoples’ homes, and stand up new test-to-treat sites where people can get tested and receive life-saving antivirals all in one place. Now, with a click of a button, people will be able to find where to access all of these tools, as well as receive the latest CDC data on the level of COVID-19 in their community.

As part of COVID.gov, a new Test-to-Treat locator will help people access pharmacies and community health centers across the nation where people can get tested for COVID-19 and receive appropriate treatments if they need them. President Biden announced the Test-to-Treat initiative in his State of the Union address earlier this month. Since that time, the Administration has already launched over 2,000 of these sites, plus more than 240 sites across Veteran’s Health Administration and Department of Defense facilities to serve veterans, military personnel, and their families. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the Administration is ensuring locations are established in our most hard-hit and high-risk communities.

Because of the lifesaving tools we now have, America is in a new moment in the pandemic. The country is moving forward safely and people are getting back to their more normal routines. To ensure we’re sustaining and building on this progress and protecting and preparing for new variants, earlier this month, the President released his National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. The President was clear that in order to execute on this plan and to stay ahead of the virus, the Administration needs additional funding from Congress—including $22.5 billion in immediate emergency funds. To date, Congress has failed to provide those funds and the country is already suffering the consequences. In the last two weeks, the Administration has had to stop reimbursing health care providers for treating the uninsured, cancel monoclonal antibody orders and cut states’ supply, reduce orders of treatments for the immunocompromised, and pull the U.S. out of line for future vaccine and next-generation treatment purchases. These issues disproportionately impact our hardest-hit and highest-risk populations, including communities of color and individuals with disabilities. The Administration continues to urge Congress to act quickly, as the consequences will continue to get worse in the coming weeks.
Protecting the American people from COVID-19 now and into the future relies on affordable and accessible tools like vaccines, treatments, tests and high-quality masks. Through efforts like COVID.gov and Test-to-Treat, the Administration continues to take steps to make these tools even more readily available. Now, we need Congress to do its part and continue to fund the COVID-19 response.

Today’s announcements include:

White House.gov. 03/30/2022.

Launch of COVID.gov, A New One-Stop-Shop Website Where Individuals Can Find Where to Access Vaccines, Tests, Treatments, and High-Quality Masks. Today, the Administration launched COVID.gov, a new website to help people access vaccines, tests, treatments, and high-quality masks. COVID.gov also provides people an easy way to find the level of COVID-19 in their community. Early last year, the Administration launched Vaccines.gov and an associated call line to help people locate and make appointments at vaccine sites near them. In January of this year, the Administration launched COVIDTests.gov where people could order tests and have them shipped to their homes for free. COVID.gov will allow individuals to access both of these services at one convenient, easy-to-use website. It will also offer information about where to find free high-quality masks and, for the first time, where to access COVID-19 treatments.

COVID.gov will be available in English, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese and is accessible for those using assistive technologies. The Administration is also making all of these COVID-19 tools available over the phone through the National Hotline at 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489), which supports over 150 languages. For individuals with disabilities who may need additional support, the Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is also available to help at 1-888-677-1199 or via email at DIAL@usaginganddisability.org. 

New Locator Tool to Help Individuals Access the Over 2,000 Test-to-Treat Sites Across the Country. Today, as part of COVID.gov, the Administration launched a new Test-to-Treat locator tool to help the public access lifesaving drugs if they are sick with COVID-19. President Biden announced in his State of the Union address the creation of the Test-to-Treat initiative. This program creates one-stop-shop locations where people can get a COVID-19 test and receive an oral antiviral treatment, if appropriate for them because they test positive and face high risks from COVID. Since the launch earlier this month, there are now over 2,000 Test-to-Treat locations nationwide, including in pharmacy-based clinics, federally-qualified community health centers (FQHCs), and long-term care facilities. As has been the case since December, people can still be tested and treated by their own health care providers who can appropriately prescribe these oral antivirals at locations where they are being distributed, now more easily identified than ever by the Test to Treat locator.  

Test-to-Treat Available for All Patients in Veteran’s Health Administration and Military Personnel and Their Families. Test-to-Treat is now available for all Veterans Affairs (VA) patients in VA clinics across the country. Linking patients who test positive with treatments that are appropriate for them is the standard of care in VA clinics. Each test done in the VA is linked to a care team, and accompanied by review, patient counseling, and consideration for treatment indication and eligibility. The VA also allows individuals with a positive home test result to have a virtual visit to connect with counseling and to receive oral medication if appropriate. VA sites have access to oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19, and treatment generally is provided on site or delivered via expedited mail. In addition, the Department of Defense (DoD) has made one-stop Test-to-Treat available at more than 60 DoD Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs) across the country, with hundreds more primed to start operating soon. MTF patients across the country—including active duty service members and TRICARE beneficiaries—can access Test-to-Treat at facilities in their communities. 

Hundreds of Test-to-Treat Locations in FQHCs and Indian Health Service Facilities Across the Country to Protect Hard-Hit and High-Risk Communities from COVID-19.Test-to-Treat locations also are available in more than 240 FQHCs and Indian Health Service (IHS) Facilities across the country, ensuring access to lifesaving treatments in some of our hardest-hit and highest-risk communities. The number of these locations will continue to grow in the coming weeks, as more and more FQHCs, Rural Health Clinics, and IHS locations come online with Test-to-Treat programs. These community providers will continue to serve as trusted messengers in raising awareness about the availability of lifesaving treatments, and also partner with community-based organizations to reach specific high-risk populations, including individuals with disabilities.

President Biden has tweeted…

As of 8:00 a.m. my time, President Biden has not tweeted. I got bail earlier than I expected. If he tweets anything major or whatever I will up date the post when I return from adulting.

President Biden is expected to give his remarks sometime around 1:30 p.m. D.C., time.

The daily press briefing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. D.C., time.

This is an Open Thread.

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Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.