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Biden to receive second COVID-19 booster today following new CDC guidance

The president will talk about a new website rollout Wednesday and call on Congress to swiftly pass more than $22 billion in emergency funding for COVID-19 response.
/ Source: NBC News

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will receive his second COVID-19 booster shot Wednesday following a new CDC recommendation that people ages 50 and older receive a second booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Biden will get the shot from a member of the White House medical unit following his remarks on the status of the country’s pandemic response, the White House said in a statement.

Biden is expected to urge Congress to provide billions of dollars more in COVID-19 funding as public health experts predict the U.S. could be on track to see another wave of COVID-19 infections, a White House official said.

The president will send “an urgent, direct message to Congress to act swiftly to secure funding for our Covid response, and emphasize that the progress we have made is at severe risk if they fail to act to secure the funding we need to continue fighting the virus,” the official said.

Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have continued to try to work out a deal on a new COVID-19 funding package after $15.6 billion in funds for treatment, testing and vaccines was stripped from a government spending package earlier this month. But it remains unclear whether a deal will be reached before Congress leaves for recess at the end of next week. Republicans have been pushing the administration for more details on what funding is still available from previous COVID-19 funding bills.

Biden will also announce the launch of a government-run website Wednesday where people can access information about tests, vaccines, treatments and the latest on the pandemic in communities across the country. Biden plans to highlight the new website’s test-to-treat locator, which helps people find pharmacies and community health centers where they can get tested for COVID-19 and receive treatment if needed, the official said. 

The website’s unveiling comes as the BA.2 omicron subvariant of COVID-19 has now become the dominant strain of the disease in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

The administration has requested that Congress pass $22.5 billion in emergency funding for COVID-19 response. The White House said Wednesday in a release about the website that because Congress hasn’t approved the emergency funding, the U.S. is already suffering the consequences.

“In the last two weeks, the administration has had to stop reimbursing health care providers for treating the uninsured, cancel monoclonal antibody orders and cut states’ supply, reduce orders of treatments for the immunocompromised, and pull the U.S. out of line for future vaccine and next-generation treatment purchases,” it said.

The White House noted that the information offered on the new website will also be available on a national telephone hotline. The website has links that allow people to order free COVID-19 tests, find locations where they can get vaccinated and obtain high-quality masks for free

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