WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden said Tuesday the United States will begin to double its order for a pill from Pfizer to treat Covid infections amid the Omicron variant surge causing school and business closures.
Speaking from the White House, Biden said evidence suggests that those who are vaccinated and boosted are less likely to develop severe illness. Data shows the unvaccinated are making up the majority of recent hospitalizations and cases.
“We’re going to see, as you all have been hearing, continued rise in cases,” Biden said in remarks at the White House. “Omicron is a very transmissible variant, but much different than anything we’ve seen before. But you can protect yourself, and you should protect yourself, quite frankly: get vaccinated, get boosted — there’s plenty of booster shots — wear a mask while you’re in public.”
Biden says the pill has the “potential to dramatically alter the impact” of the pandemic but could take months to make given the complexity involved in making the pill.
The news comes as the United States hit 1 million new Covid-19 cases on Monday, according to data from the Center For Disease Control and Prevention. The Omicron variant has forced businesses and schools to close with cases spiking in the past few weeks.
The President urged those who are unvaccinated to get the shot as soon as possible to stop the spread of the virus.
“For God’s sake, please take advantage of what’s available. Please, you’re going to save lives,” Biden said. “Maybe yours, maybe your child, please take advantage of what we already have.”
Rapid at-home tests are in short supply and last month, the President announced his administration would be sending at-home tests to every American who requests one via a website that has yet to be announced.
Millions of Americans have had to wait days for test results with labs running at capacity.
“On testing, I know that remains frustrating. Believe me, it’s frustrating to me. But we’re making improvements,” Biden said.