Biden Administration re-routing COVID-19 funds to prepare for winter
DELMARVA- More than $10 billion in COVID-19 relief funding is being rerouted in order to maintain stockpiles of vaccines and treatments for Americans ahead of this winter.
“The CDC and the federal government are doing their best to read the tea leaves 55 and predict what they are going to need in the winter if there’s a surge of COVID,” Matt Balish, a pharmacist at Apple Discount Drugs, said. “You know in the winter we have surges of cold, flu’s, upper respiratory infections, and they think COVID is going to go right along with that.”
The Biden Administration is cutting back on orders of at home-rapid tests, scaling back on funding for research and development of new COVID-19 vaccines, and limiting orders of Personal Protective Equipment.
“So, I think the place that we are at now, if we use the lessons to prepare for it that announcement that came yesterday (Wednesday) isn’t as scary as it may be for those who over the past 2 and half years took the opportunity to utilize the enhanced resources,” Heather Snyder, the Infection prevention and Employee Health Manager at Atlantic General Hospital, said.
Snyder said with less funding going to at home-rapid tests we may see more people relying on health care systems for PCR tests.
“So, I would say that ourselves at Atlantic General I’m not concerned with our resources, but I am concerned that there may be impact on our emergency room wait time,” Snyder said.
The White House says they are left to make these trade-offs because Congress hasn’t acted to provide more funding. But even with that said, healthcare professionals we spoke with aren’t worried and have a few words of advice.
“I would encourage those who haven’t gotten vaccinated to take the opportunity to do so,” Snyder said. “Those who are eligible for boosters, especially if your summer plans include travel or family get-togethers, it’s a perfect time to get boosted.”
“I would definitely tell people because they are re-balancing don’t try to get 8 or 10 tests and throw it in your drawer at home, if you have one or two on hand that’s great,” Balish said. “If you need a test, a lot of places in the community offer point of care testing. I typically recommend the antigen test because it’s very similar to the at-home.”