The new federal website bills itself as a one-stop toolkit to find covid vaccines, treatments and testing and to look up CDC community level data.
NPR: A New Federal Website Aims To Solve A Key COVID Problem: Where To Get Antiviral Pills
The search for COVID vaccines, tests and treatments could get easier Wednesday with the White House launch of COVID.gov, a website meant to be a one-stop shop for everything from free high quality masks to antiviral pills.
“We could not have done this six or eight months ago because we didn’t have all the tools we have now,” said White House COVID response coordinator Jeff Zients in an interview with NPR. With the website launch, the White House is following through on a promise President Biden made in his State of the Union address. In that speech he announced a test-to-treat program “so people can get tested at a pharmacy, and if they’re positive, receive antiviral pills on the spot at no cost.” (Keith, 3/30)
CIDRAP: White House Launches ‘One-Stop’ Website For COVID-19 Needs
President Joe Biden today announced the launch of covid.gov, a new one-stop shop for finding COVID-19 vaccines, masks, tests, and treatments by county on an easy-to-use website.
“We are in a new moment in this pandemic, it does not mean it’s over, it means it no longer controls our lives,” Biden said, before announcing he was getting his second booster dose of vaccine later this afternoon. “Thanks to the foundation we have laid, America has the tools to fight the virus.” (Soucheray, 3/30)
In other news about the CDC and Biden’s health czar —
New York Post: CDC Chief Defends Ties To Teachers Unions On School Reopenings
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky defended the agency caving to teachers unions on school reopening guidance last year, insisting they were needed to keep classrooms from closing down again.
The Post reported in May 2021 that a top official at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) relayed suggestions from the union during the planning of the nationwide school reopening guidance released by the agency the previous February. (Patteson, 3/30)
PBS NewsHour: WATCH: Surgeon General Murthy, CDC Director Walensky Testify On Efforts To Move Beyond COVID-19
“We must work to stay ahead of this virus by amplifying bipartisan messaging to reinforce the importance of vaccinations and boosters to save lives,” said Walensky. The officials spoke on how the Biden Administration’s National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan would continue to curb virus cases in the U.S. and prevent further pandemic disruptions if it is fully funded by Congress.
“The president’s budget released this week provides a roadmap to be more prepared for the next public health emergency,” said Walensky. (3/30)
Politico: Private Concerns Mount About Biden’s New Covid Czar
When President Joe Biden tapped Ashish Jha as the new leader of his coronavirus response, he hailed the well-known public health expert as the “perfect person” to steer the nation through the next phase of the pandemic.
Not everyone is as convinced as Biden. In the weeks since Jha’s announcement, administration officials’ surprise over the selection has given way to skepticism, with some privately questioning how an academic well known for his television commentary will manage a complex operation that touches every part of the federal bureaucracy. (Cancryn, 3/30)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.