STATEMENT: CAP Experts Praise Biden Administration’s New COVID-19 Strategy
Washington, D.C. — Last night, the Biden administration announced a new strategy for combating COVID-19 and ensuring that the nation is prepared for future surges. In addition to continuing to make free high-quality masks and tests available to the public—which the Center for American Progress has previously recommended—the new National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan calls for steps to keep businesses and schools open, stockpile supplies, improve systems to detect and respond to new variants, and distribute vaccines domestically and globally. It includes a new “test to treat” initiative that would immediately provide patients who test positive at a pharmacy-based clinic or community health center with no-cost antiviral medications.
In response, CAP experts offered the following statements:
Jill Rosenthal, director of Public Health Policy:
This new plan is the kind of long-term vision we need to manage COVID-19 and make sure that people have better access to effective tools and treatments. This plan will help the nation move forward safely in a way that reduces the severity of future outbreaks. The “test to treat” program would make the latest antiviral drugs widely available by increasing supply, providing the pills at no cost immediately upon diagnosis, making them available at community clinics and pharmacies, and including provisions to promote equitable distribution. Vaccination continues to be the best way that people can protect themselves against COVID-19, which is why President Joe Biden called for continued vaccination in the United States and distributing doses around the world.
We must continue to monitor the public health situation and maintain our preparedness. And I hope Congress will heed the president’s call to focus on detection of new variants and stockpiling tests, masks, and antiviral pills so that the nation remains ready to address future surges.
Mia Ives-Rublee, director for the Disability Justice Initiative:
There are now 1.2 million more disabled adults in the United States than there were before the pandemic. Many of these people acquired their disabilities due to long COVID. They are at risk of experiencing unemployment, food insecurity, and housing instability. It is encouraging to see the White House seeking to work across the agencies to implement changes and strengthen programs for this at-risk population. Long COVID centers could help provide comprehensive services and get people back on their feet.
- “How State and Local Leaders Can Prepare for Future COVID-19 Surges” by Jill Rosenthal
- “Refreshing the U.S. Strategy to End the Pandemic” by Emily Gee and Jill Rosenthal
- “COVID-19 Likely Resulted in 1.2 Million More Disabled People by the End of 2021—Workplaces and Policy Will Need to Adapt” by Lily Roberts, Mia Ives-Rublee, and Rose Khattar