(CNN) — President Joe Biden announced his administration will purchase an additional 500 million Covid-19 tests as well as deploy a new wave of medical teams to six states to help hospitals combat Covid-19 in a press conference Thursday.
The 500 million new Covid-19 tests will be purchased to meet future demand and are in addition to the previously announced 500 million tests the White House is in the process of acquiring, according to a White House official.
The military medical teams will support the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, Henry Ford Hospital outside Detroit, University of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque and University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, the official said.
The deployments come as the Biden administration faces growing scrutiny alongside record Covid-19 hospitalizations, testing challenges and messaging frustration — issues the GOP has seized on.
More than 151,000 Americans were in the hospital with Covid-19 nationwide on Wednesday, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. And the US averaged more than 747,260 new Covid-19 cases daily over the last week, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
That’s about three times last winter’s peak average (251,987 on January 11, 2021), and about 4.5 times the peak from the Delta-driven surge (166,347 on September 1), according to JHU.
The surge has put considerable stress on hospitals nationwide. And, to combat the massive strain on health care services that comes as more staff members call out sick with the virus, state leaders have enacted emergency procedures to help hospitals cope.
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