Tuesday night, President Joe Biden addressed the nation in the annual State of the Union speech. One of the points he hit hard on were COVID-19 treatments. Biden also announced a new initiative to treat the disease with antiviral pills.
According to TODAY, the new initiative would allow people to test for COVID at a pharmacy and then receive an antiviral pill at the same appointment. The treatment would also be available at no charge to the patient.
“We’re launching the “Test to Treat” initiative so people can get tested at a pharmacy, and if they’re positive, receive antiviral pills on the spot, at no cost,” Biden said during his State of the Union speech, per TODAY.
Drug company Pfizer Inc. is offering one million of these pills to the United States and Biden says that we’re ordering more treatments for COVID-19 than any other country in the world.
This new Pfizer pill is supposed to reduce the chance of hospitalization from the disease by 90 percent.
Further, ahead of the State of the Union address, the White House lifted its mask mandates for fully vaccinated individuals. In addition, they also told federal agencies they can drop mask mandates and other COVD-19 protocols for federal buildings throughout the country.
President Biden is also releasing a COVID-19 preparedness plan today, he announced during his speech.
Additionally, Biden shared that the American people have done a good job helping to curb the coronavirus and that we’re making progress on heading back to a normal way of life.
“I cannot promise a new variant won’t come. But I can promise you we’ll do everything within our power to be ready if it does,” he said.
President Joe Biden Says He Didn’t ‘Overpromise’ in First Year of Presidency
In an earlier speech regarding his first year of presidency, Biden says he doesn’t believe he “overpromised” anything. Speaking to the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden says he plans on staying the course.
“Still for all this progress, I know there’s a lot of frustration and fatigue in this country,” Biden said, referencing the COVID-19 pandemic. The president then promised to make sure we didn’t backtrack to where we were when the virus struck in 2020.
“We’re not going back to lockdowns. We’re not going back to closing schools,” he explained.
The president also added:
“I’m not going to give up and accept things as they are now,” Biden said. “Some people may call what’s happening now the new normal. I call it a job not yet finished.”
In addition to addressing COVID-19, the president also discussed many other issues. These include the situation in Ukraine, infrastructure in the U.S. and healthcare. You can watch President Biden’s full State of the Union address here.