White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients offered some new details on federal support for Covid-19 testing and treatment across the country during a briefing Wednesday.
The Biden administration’s Covid-19 response team, Zients said, has been working “hand-in-hand with governors and local health officials across the country to assess and address needs on the ground,” something President Biden reiterated to the nation’s governors earlier this week.
“Our message for governors around the country is simple: if you need something, say something and we will mobilize quickly to get you the resources you need,” Zients added.
In New York, he said, 60 FEMA medical personnel and 30 ambulances arrived last week to help transport patients to hospitals around the states. FEMA has also established nine federally-run testing sites in New York City, with three more opening Sunday.
In Arizona, 20 FEMA paramedics began providing clinical support starting Dec. 24, with 40 more personnel arriving next week to assist with treatment in Maricopa and Pima counties and tribal communities.
In Indiana, Zients said, 23 military medical personnel started their mission on Christmas Day at University Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
In New Mexico, 15 medical personnel from the US Public Health Services Commissioned Corps arrived Monday to provide surge support in Indian country, with 15 ventilators being sent to the state Wednesday and 12 federal personnel arriving next week to assist with vaccinations.
A 23-person military medical team starts supporting Belen Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Friday.
A federally-run free testing site will open in New Jersey on New Year’s Day, with additional testing sites opening in Philadelphia and Washington, DC, in the “next several days.”
Additionally, he added, 1 million gloves, 342,000 masks, respirators, and face shields, and 40,000 gowns have been shipped to states “in the past couple of weeks alone.”
“We’ve been working around the clock to surge reinforcements to communities as they battle Omicron, helping to staff hospitals, administer monoclonal antibody treatments, transport patients, add testing capacity, and get more PPE to where it is needed, and you’ll see us continue to act aggressively to address the communities’ needs in the days and weeks ahead,” Zients said.