Capitol Correspondence - 09.13.22

White House Releases New COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

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On September 8, the White House released an updated National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. The preparedness plan lays out a roadmap for combating COVID-19 in the future, with a commitment to maintaining and enhancing tools to protect against and treat COVID-19 while preparing for new variants. A focus of the administration’s plan is equity and ensuring equal access for all to testing and treatments while “support[ing] Americans with the long-term impacts of COVID-19, including people experiencing Long COVID or mental and behavioral health challenges; as well as families suffering from the tragedy of losing someone they loved.”

The plan is divided into four key goals:

  • Protecting against and treating COVID-19: focusing on continued vaccination efforts, vaccine manufacturing capacity, a nationwide Test to Treat initiative, sustaining and increasing domestic manufacturing of COVID-19 tests, and ensuring equitable access to public health resources.
  • Preparing for new variants: focusing on improved data collection, supporting and utilizing improved FDA processes to expedite regulatory review of variant-specific versions of vaccines and treatments, and adding at-home tests, antiviral pills and masks for the general population to the national stockpile.
  • Preventing economic and educational shutdowns: focusing on providing schools and businesses with guidance, tests and supplies to stay open, and working with Congress to provide paid sick leave to workers who miss work because of COVID-19.
  • Continuing to vaccinate the world: focusing on leveraging the vaccine donation model to deliver the 1.2 billion doses the US committed to donate to the rest of the world.