The latest surge in COVID-19 infections has led to increased hospitalizations and, in many cases, health care staffing shortages.
According to Fox News, President Joe Biden has responded to the issue by deploying federal teams composed of medical and military personnel tasked with bolstering and supporting areas in the most need.
Half a dozen states
According to an announcement on Thursday, the White House has identified six states — Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, and Rhode Island — as priorities. Additional teams can still be dispatched elsewhere as needed.
Some of the staffing shortages have come from facilities firing unvaccinated workers while another factor is a rising infection rate among vaccinated and unvaccinated personnel alike.
A reporter asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday for a preview of the announcement, prompting her to offer some general background information.
She noted that more than 2,100 federal personnel and a wide range of supplies had already been sent to 38 states and territories. Additionally, 13,000 National Guard troops were activated to help staff vaccination and testing sites nationwide.
Psaki said that hundreds of military doctors, nurses, and clinical staff from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Health and Human Services were dispatched to about a dozen states.
By Thursday morning, White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz had provided additional information on Twitter regarding Biden’s plan to “surge deployments for six additional federal medical teams” to “help with hospital capacity” in the six aforementioned states.
He went on to note that in the weeks since Thanksgiving, “over 800 military and other federal emergency personnel have been deployed to 24 states, tribes and territories” to address the ongoing public health crisis.
Hours later, Biden delivered his prepared remarks on the topic.
“Today, I’m announcing our next deployment of six additional federal medical teams, a total of more than 120 military medical personnel, to six hard-hit states,” the president said.
Using the opportunity to once again blame unvaccinated and vaccine-hesitant Americans for exacerbating the situation, Biden called on news and social media outlets to stop the “misinformation and disinformation” appearing on their platforms.