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White House plans to send emergency response team to Arizona to combat COVID-19

(AP)
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 6:45 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The White House announced Tuesday morning, Dec. 21, that President Joe Biden will be announcing new actions and plans to help combat COVID-19, including sending an emergency response team to Arizona in addition to other states.

“Today’s actions will mitigate the impact unvaccinated individuals have on our health care system, while increasing access to free testing and getting more shots in arms to keep people safe and our schools and economy open,” according to a press release from the White House.

The reason is due to the expected impact of the omicron variant that is transmissible to vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans. The idea is in the hope of protecting Americans from getting very sick. Biden will be announcing increased support for hospitals by providing more personnel, beds, and supplies to help them as omicron variant cases increase.

What does this mean for Arizona? Biden will be sending an emergency response team immediately with over 100 clinical personnel and paramedics in addition to the 300 federal medical personnel that was sent since the world first learned about the omicron variant to six states that include Arizona, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

In addition, the White House will be working with FEMA to create new pop-up vaccination clinics across the country and setting up new federal testing sites.

“Deploying hundreds of ambulances and emergency medical teams to transport patients to open beds: To get ahead of surges, FEMA is ready to deploy hundreds of ambulances and emergency medical teams so that if one hospital fills up, they can transport patients to open beds in other facilities. Just this week, 30 paramedics are heading to New Hampshire, 30 to Vermont, and 20 to Arizona, and 30 ambulances are headed to New York, and eight to Maine. The administration is also continuing to provide 100 percent federal reimbursement to states for all COVID-19 emergency response costs.”

President Biden is planning to speak around 11:30 a.m. MST to officially announce his plans ahead of the winter as the country and world prepare for the rise in cases due to the omicron variant and the heavy travel season. More information can be found on the White House website here.

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