Democracy Now!

Biden Addresses Omicron Surge as Nation Faces COVID Testing Shortage and Overwhelmed Hospitals

This clip is from the Dec. 22, 2021 broadcast.

President Biden has announced a plan to begin distributing 500 million at-home COVID tests starting in January in response to the latest surge in cases, linked to the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus. His plan also includes the establishment of new federal testing sites and the deployment of military medical personnel to help overwhelmed hospitals around the country.

Dr. Tsion Firew, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Columbia University Medical Center, says nurses and other healthcare providers are quitting or retiring in large numbers as the pandemic drags on, leading to an even greater strain on those still on the frontlines. "It's just very frustrating and also overburdening our healthcare system," she says.

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