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  1. #4971
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    Re: Latest on the Corona Virus

  2. #4972
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    Re: Latest on the Corona Virus

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    Re: Latest on the Corona Virus


  4. #4974
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    Re: Latest on the Corona Virus

    Restore trust with the American people.
    The federal government should be the source of truth for the public to get clear,
    accessible, and scientifically accurate information about COVID-19. To rebuild the
    trust of the American people, the National Strategy will signal clear public leadership
    and a commitment to a robust whole-of-government response that puts science first.
    The federal government will be transparent with the American people, maintaining
    an open line of communication with the public and all stakeholders. To continue to
    restore trust, the United States will:
    Goal 1
    | 7
    Establish a national COVID-19 response structure where decision-making is driven by
    science and equity. The Biden-Harris Administration has developed a unified plan to
    rebuild expert leadership across the government and regain the trust of the American
    public. As part of the strategy, on his first day in office, President Biden issued
    Executive Order Organizing and Mobilizing the U.S. Government to Provide a Unified
    And Effective Response to Combat COVID-19 and to Provide United States Leadership on
    Global Health and Security establishing a White House COVID-19 national response
    structure to coordinate across the U.S. Government and restoring the White House
    Directorate on Global Health Security and Biodefense established by the ObamaBiden Administration. The COVID-19 Response office will establish clear lines of
    communications with all governors, state public health officials and immunization
    managers, and local leaders.
    Conduct regular expert-led, science-based public briefings. The federal government
    will conduct regular, expert-led, science-based public briefings and release regular
    reports on the state of the pandemic. Experts and scientists at the U.S. Centers
    for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will also develop clear, evidence-based,
    metric-driven public health guidance and effectively and frequently communicate and
    distribute guidance and updates to the American people.
    Publicly share data around key response indicators. Metrics and metric-driven
    public health guidance will be essential to controlling the pandemic. President Biden
    issued Executive Order Ensuring a Data-Driven Response to COVID-19 and Future
    High Consequence Public Health Threats directing steps to enhance federal agencies’
    collection, production sharing, and analysis of, and collaboration with respect to,
    data to support an equitable COVID-19 response and recovery. As further detailed
    in National Strategy Goals Two, Three, and Six, the federal government will track
    a range of performance measures and data including cases, testing, vaccinations,
    and hospital admissions, and will make real-time information readily available to the
    public and to policymakers at the federal, state, and local level. The CDC will also
    maintain a public dashboard tracking COVID-19 cases at the county level, so that
    Americans can gauge the level of transmission in their own communities to make
    their own informed choices.
    Engage the American people. The federal government cannot solve this crisis alone.
    It will take regular engagement with the public, state and local leaders, the private
    sector, unions, community volunteers, and health care providers to guide policy
    and implementation. The Administration will prioritize outreach to state and local
    governments, the public and private sectors, vulnerable communities, students,
    8 |
    workers, and community leaders, using input from these stakeholders to drive the
    government’s COVID-19 response.
    Lead science-first public health campaigns. The Administration will lead world-class
    public education campaigns — covering topics like masking, testing, vaccinations
    and vaccine hesitancy — designed with diversity and inclusivity in mind, including
    communications in multiple languages, to maximize reach and effectiveness. The
    campaigns will be coordinated, across national, state, and local levels, and engage
    with the private and public sector. They will be anchored by science and fact-based
    public health guidance. The Administration will work to counter misinformation and
    disinformation by ensuring that Americans are obtaining science-based information.

  5. #4975
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    Mount a safe, effective, comprehensive vaccination campaign.
    The United States will spare no effort to ensure Americans can get vaccinated
    quickly, effectively, and equitably. The federal government will execute an
    aggressive vaccination strategy, focusing on the immediate actions necessary to
    convert vaccines into vaccinations, including improving allocation, distribution,
    administration, and tracking. Central to this effort will be additional support and
    funding for state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments — and improved line of
    sight into supply — to ensure that they are best prepared to mount local vaccination
    programs. At the same time, the federal government will mount an unprecedented
    public campaign that builds trust around vaccination and communicates the
    importance of maintaining public health measures such as masking, physical
    distancing, testing, and contact tracing even as people receive safe and effective
    vaccinations. To mount a safe, effective, comprehensive vaccination campaign, the
    United States will:
    Ensure the availability of safe, effective vaccines for the American public. The
    national vaccination effort will be one of the greatest operational challenges America
    has ever faced. To ensure all Americans can be vaccinated quickly, the President has
    developed a plan for expanding vaccine manufacturing and purchasing COVID-19
    vaccine doses for the U.S. population by fully leveraging contract authorities,
    including the Defense Production Act; deploying onsite support to monitor contract
    manufacturing operations; and purchasing additional FDA-authorized vaccines to
    deliver as quickly as possible. The effort includes prioritizing supplies that could
    Goal 2
    | 9
    cause bottlenecks, including glass vials, stoppers, syringes, needles, and the “fill and
    finish” capacity to package vaccine into vials.
    Accelerate getting shots into arms and get vaccines to the communities that need
    them most. The success of the national vaccination effort will depend on reaching
    communities across the United States. To achieve this, the federal government
    will take a series of steps to simplify and strengthen the allocation and distribution
    process. In order to expand the supply available to states, the Administration will end
    the policy of holding back significant levels of doses, instead holding back a small
    reserve and monitoring supply to ensure that everyone receives the full regimen as
    recommended by the FDA. The United States will accelerate the pace of vaccinations
    by encouraging states and localities to move through the priority groups more quickly
    — expanding access to frontline essential workers and individuals over the age of
    65, while staying laser-focused on working to ensure that the highest-risk members
    of the public, including those in congregate facilities, can access the vaccine where
    and when they need it. The Administration will also improve the allocation process
    by providing states and localities with clear, consistent projections to inform their
    planning. Through it all, the United States will work to ensure that the vaccine is
    distributed quickly, effectively and equitably, with a focus on making sure that highrisk and hard-to-reach communities are not left behind.
    Create as many venues as needed for people to be vaccinated. The federal
    government — in partnership with state and local governments — will create as many
    venues for vaccination as needed in communities and settings that people trust. This
    includes, but is not limited to federally run community vaccination centers, in places
    like stadiums and conference centers, federally-supported state and locally operated
    vaccination sites in all 50 states and 14 territories, pharmacies and retail stores,
    federal facilities like Veterans Affairs hospitals, community health centers, rural
    health clinics, critical access hospitals, physician offices, health systems, urgent care
    centers, and mobile and on-site occupational clinics.
    Focus on hard-to-reach and high-risk populations. As the United States accelerates
    the pace of vaccinations nationwide, we remain focused on building programs to
    meet the needs of hard-to-reach and high-risk populations, and meeting communities
    where they are to make vaccinations as accessible and equitable as possible. The
    federal government will deploy targeted strategies to meet the needs of individuals at
    increased risk and others who need to take extra precautions, according to the CDC,
    as well as the communities hardest hit by this pandemic. Local public health officials
    will play a critical role.
    10 |
    Fairly compensate providers, and states and local governments for the cost of
    administering vaccinations. Fairly compensating providers, and state and local
    governments for the costs of vaccine administration will be critical to expanding
    vaccination participation. President Biden will work with Congress to expand the
    Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to 100 percent for vaccinations
    of Medicaid enrollees—with the goal of alleviating state costs for administration
    of these vaccines and supporting states in their work to meet the needs of their
    communities. The Department of Health and Human Services will ask the Centers
    for Medicare & Medicaid Services to consider whether current payment rates for
    vaccine administration are appropriate or whether a higher rate may more accurately
    compensate providers. The federal government will fund vaccine supply and
    will greatly expand funding for vaccine administration by allowing state and local
    governments to reimburse vaccination administration expenses through the FEMA
    Disaster Relief Fund and by ensuring that workforce and equipment expenses for
    state and local-run sites are also eligible.
    Drive equity throughout the vaccination campaign and broader pandemic response.
    The federal government will drive equity in vaccinations by using demographic data to
    identify communities hit hardest by the virus and supporting them, ensuring no outof-pocket costs for vaccinations, and making sure vaccines reach those communities.
    Working with state, local, and community-based organizations and trusted health
    care providers, like community health centers, will be central to this effort.
    Launch a national vaccinations public education campaign. The United States will
    build public trust through an unprecedented vaccination public health campaign at
    the federal, State, Tribal, territorial, local and community level. The public education
    campaign will support vaccination programs, address vaccine hesitancy, help
    simplify the vaccination process for Americans, and educate the public on effective
    prevention measures. The campaign will be tailored to meet the needs of diverse
    communities, get information to trusted, local messengers, and outline efforts
    to deliver a safe and effective vaccine as part of a national strategy for beating
    Bolster data systems and transparency for vaccinations. The operational complexity
    of vaccinating the public will make robust data and its use in decision-making related
    to vaccinations more important than ever. The federal government, with CDC, will
    track distribution and vaccination progress, working hand-in-hand with states and
    | 11
    localities to support their efforts. The Administration will build on and strengthen
    the federal government’s approach to data collection related to vaccination efforts,
    removing impediments and developing communication and technical assistance plans
    for jurisdictions and providers. The Administration, through HHS and other federal
    partners, will rely on data to drive decision-making and the national vaccinations
    Monitor vaccine safety and efficacy. The Administration will ensure that scientists
    are in charge of all decisions related to vaccine safety and efficacy. The FDA will
    also continue to honor its commitment to make relevant data on vaccine safety and
    efficacy publicly available and to provide opportunities for public, non-governmental
    expert input. Through expanded and existing systems, the CDC and FDA will
    ensure ongoing, real-time safety monitoring. Through it all, the Administration will
    communicate clearly with the American public to continue to build trust around the
    vaccine and its benefits for individuals, their families and communities.
    Surge the health care workforce to support the vaccination effort. A diverse,
    community-based health care workforce is essential to an effective vaccination
    program. The United States will address workforce needs by taking steps to allow
    qualified professionals to administer vaccines and encourage states to leverage their
    flexibility fully to surge their workforce, including by expanding scope of practice laws
    and waiving licensing requirements as appropriate.

  6. #4976
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    Mitigate spread through expanding masking, testing, treatment, data,
    workforce, and clear public health standards.
    A comprehensive national public health effort to control the virus — even after the
    vaccination program ramps up — will be critical to saving lives and restoring economic
    activity. The federal government will partner with state, local, Tribal, and territorial
    leaders to implement a cohesive strategy to significantly reduce the spread of
    COVID-19 and release clear public health guidance to the public about what to do
    and when, including implementing mask mandates; expanding testing; strengthening
    the public health workforce; modernizing data collection and reporting capabilities
    for COVID-19 and future epidemics; and providing equitable access to treatment
    and clinical care. To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through clear public health
    standards, the United States will:
    Goal 3
    12 |
    Implement masking nationwide by working with governors, mayors, and the
    American people. The President has asked the American people to do what they
    do best: step up in a time of crisis and wear masks. He has issued Executive Order
    Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing which directs compliance
    with CDC guidance on masking and physical distancing in federal buildings, on
    federal lands, and by federal employees and contractors. Additionally, the President
    issued Executive Order Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel
    which directs applicable agencies to take immediate action to require mask-wearing
    on many airplanes, trains, and certain other forms of public transportation in the
    United States. He has called on governors, public health officials, mayors, business
    leaders, and others to implement masking, physical distancing, and other CDC public
    measures to control COVID-19.
    Scale and expand testing. To control the COVID-19 pandemic and safely reopen
    schools and businesses, America must have wide-spread testing. A national
    testing strategy is a cornerstone to reducing the spread of COVID-19 and
    controlling outbreaks, and clear federal guidance and a unified national approach to
    implementation are essential. The President issued Executive Order Establishing the
    National Pandemic Testing Board and Ensuring a Sustainable Public Health Workforce
    for COVID-19 and Other Biological Threats which establishes the COVID-19 Pandemic
    Testing Board to oversee implementation of a clear, unified approach to testing. The
    federal government will expand the rapid testing supply and double test supplies
    and increase testing capacity. The Administration will also increase onshore test
    manufacturing, fill testing supply shortfalls, enhance laboratory capacity to conduct
    testing over the short- and long-term, and expand surveillance for hotspots and
    Effectively distribute tests and expand access to testing. The federal government
    will support school screening testing programs to help schools reopen. The
    Administration will also stand up a dedicated CDC Testing Support Team, fund rapid
    test acquisition and distribution for priority populations, work to spur development
    and manufacturing of at-home tests and work to ensure that tests are widely
    available. Through Executive Order Establishing the National Pandemic Testing Board
    and Ensuring a Sustainable Public Health Workforce for COVID-19 and Other Biological
    Threats the President directs agencies to facilitate testing free of charge for those
    who lack health insurance and to clarify insurers’ obligation to cover testing. The
    | 13
    federal government will also provide testing protocols to inform the use of testing
    in congregate settings, schools, and other critical areas and among asymptomatic
    individuals. Further, technical assistance will support more widespread adoption of
    testing to improve timely diagnosis and public confidence in the safety of settings like
    Prioritize therapeutics and establish a comprehensive, integrated COVID-19
    treatment discovery and development program. Effective treatments for COVID-19
    are critical to saving lives. The federal government will establish a comprehensive,
    integrated, and coordinated preclinical drug discovery and development program,
    with diverse clinical trials, to allow therapeutics to be evaluated and developed
    rapidly in response to COVID-19 and other pandemic threats. This includes promoting
    the immediate and rapid development of therapeutics that respond to COVID-19
    by developing new antivirals directed against the coronavirus family, accelerating
    research and support for clinical trials for therapeutics in response to COVID-19
    with a focus on those that can be readily scaled and administered, and developing
    broad-spectrum antivirals to prevent future viral pandemics. President Biden issued
    Executive Order Improving and Expanding Access to Care and Treatment for COVID-19
    which also outlines steps to bolster clinical care capacity, provide assistance to
    long-term care facilities and intermediate care facilities for people with disabilities,
    increase health care workforce capacity, expand access to programs designed to
    meet long-term health needs of patients recovering from COVID-19, and support
    access to safe and effective COVID-19 therapies for those without coverage.
    Develop actionable, evidence-based public health guidance. CDC will develop and
    update public health guidance on containment and mitigation that provides metrics
    for measuring and monitoring the incidence and prevalence of COVID-19 in health
    care facilities, schools, workplaces, and the general public, including metric-driven
    reopening guidance that the federal government communicates widely. Informed
    by up-to-date national and state data, the CDC will provide and update guidance on
    key issues such as physical distancing protocols, testing, contact tracing, reopening
    schools and businesses, and masking. The CDC also will provide focused guidance
    for older Americans and others at higher risk, including people with disabilities.
    Expand the U.S. public health workforce and increase clinical care capacity for
    COVID-19. In addition to supporting the surge in health care workers for vaccination
    efforts detailed in Goal Two, the federal government will also build and support
    an effective public health workforce to fight COVID-19 and the next public health
    threat. As part of the President’s commitment to provide 100,000 COVID-19 contact
    tracers, community health workers, and public health nurses, the Administration will
    14 |
    establish a U.S. Public Health Jobs Corps, provide support for community health
    workers, and mobilize Americans to support communities most at-risk. The United
    States will also provide technical support for testing, contact tracing, and other
    urgent public health workforce needs to better prepare for public health crises.
    Improve data to guide the response to COVID-19. Federal agencies will make
    increased use of data to guide the public health response against COVID-19. To that
    end, Agencies will collect, aggregate, share, and analyze non-personally identifiable
    data, and take steps to make it publicly available and in a machine-readable form
    to enhance COVID-19 response efforts. And the federal government will facilitate
    evidence-based decision-making through focused data-based projects. These
    efforts will require collaboration with state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments
    to aggregate and analyze data for critical decisions to track access to vaccines and
    testing, reopen schools and businesses, address disparities in COVID-19 infections
    and health outcomes, and enhance critical monitoring capacity where needed. In
    addition, critical response activities such as workforce mobilization and vaccination
    appointment scheduling may require new technology solutions. The federal
    government will provide technical support to ensure that these systems meet mission
    critical requirements to support a robust response.

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