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New federal COVID-19 strategy aims to make school and business shutdowns a thing of the past

Dr. Anthony Fauci explains the four pillars of the new federal plan for the pandemic.
Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 6:09 AM AKST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - It’s now safe for more than 70% of the country to gather inside without masks, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  The Biden administration says the country is moving closer to normal. The White House adds, its goal now is to prevent major disruptions to daily life while staying prepared to treat people who do catch COVID-19.

During his State of the Union address on March 1st, President Joe Biden said, “the vast majority of federal workers will, once again, work in person, our schools are open. Let’s keep it that way. Our kids need to be in school.”

After the speech, Congressman Ben Cline (R-VA) gave an interview to Gray Television’s Washington News Bureau. The Virginia congressman criticized Democratic governors who shut down schools and businesses during the height of the pandemic.

Cline said, “they’re hoping that the American people will forget what the Democrats did to the economy as a result of Covid. We won’t forget.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States, also spoke with Gray Television’s Washington News Bureau.

Fauci explained a new federal strategy to combat COVID-19 includes four pillars:

- Protecting against COVID-19

- Preparing for potential new variants

- Preventing widescale economic shutdowns

- Helping the rest of the world get vaccinated

“What the critical issue is is to prevent severe disease,” Fauci said.

Fauci also said that vaccinations remain a first line of defense against severe illness from COVID-19 infections.

He said, “The more we vaccinate and boost people, the better protection we have against the latter.”

The new White House plan also includes making Pfizer’s antiviral pill widely available. It is shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization from Covid by about 90 percent. The administration says it first plans to team up with pharmacies at CVS, Walgreens, and Kroger.

President Biden also announced that another round of free at-home rapid tests will be available. Starting next week, you can go to covidtests.gov to place an order.

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