Covid: Joe Biden to deploy army in hospitals
President Biden plans to announce on Thursday the deployment of 1,000 military medical personnel to six states to help hospitals deal with a surge in cases from the omicron variant, White House officials said.
Biden is scheduled to appear alongside Lloyd J. Austin III, the defence secretary, and Deanne Criswell, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, at the White House to detail the teams heading to hard-hit communities across the country. Biden said late last month that he would be tapping the military to help hospitals early in January.
Officials said the new teams of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel would begin arriving at hospitals in Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island. They said the teams would help triage patients arriving at hospitals, allowing short-staffed emergency departments to free up space.
The deployments are part of the Biden administration’s efforts to tackle the latest surge of cases caused by the highly contagious omicron variant.
As it has surged, so have new cases, reaching more than 780,000 a day across the country. The number of Americans hospitalised with Covid-19 has hit a record high of about 142,000.
Biden is also expected to make additional announcements on Thursday about the administration’s efforts to handle the pandemic.