Two years into the pandemic, the Biden Administration has launched a virtual hub to help Americans find COVID-19 prevention and treatment resources—including masks, tests, and vaccines—in their communities.
The website, COVID.gov, consolidates several existing initiatives into what President Joe Biden described during a press briefing on March 30 as a “one-stop shop.” The site includes links for ordering free at-home rapid tests; locating free, high-quality N95 masks; finding vaccines and treatments; and assessing current COVID-19 risk levels in specific counties, based on U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention metrics.
“The bottom line: no longer will Americans need to scour the internet to find vaccines, treatments, tests, or masks,” Biden said during the briefing. “It’s all there.”
One of the website’s central features is its promotion of Biden’s “test-to-treat” program, which is designed to improve access to antiviral drugs that can reduce the severity of disease for high-risk people. In theory—though not always in practice—the program enables someone who tests positive at a pharmacy or health center to receive treatment on the spot, for free. COVID.gov has a location locator that allows you to find out the locations of facilities offering the test-to treat program. These include community clinics and retail pharmacies.
COVID.gov can be accessed in English, Spanish and Simplified Chinese. The same resources are also available in additional languages through the Administration’s telephone hotline at 1-800-232-0233.
While announcing the website’s launch, Biden again implored Congress to authorize extra pandemic funding. Biden explained that a March Congressional budget bill didn’t include any additional funds for COVID-19 aid, which has led the Biden Administration, in response, to make cuts in treatment and vaccine purchasing. It was also necessary to end a program that paid providers to treat or test people with no insurance. Some people are now required to pay out of pocket for COVID-19 testing. The same applies to some COVID-19 vaccine fees, except for additional funding.
Biden warned that COVID-19 medicines, vaccines and testing supplies could be depleted in the coming months if there is no additional money. “We’re already seeing the consequences of Congressional inaction,” he said. “This isn’t partisan; it’s medicine.”
Biden was awarded a fourth COVID-19 vaccination just days after his comments. This came one day after U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved second mRNA boosters to adults over 50 and for certain individuals with immunocompromised. “It didn’t hurt a bit,” he said.
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