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Biden deploys army medical personnel to hospitals in six states

A soldier transports a affected person at UMass Memorial Medical Heart in Worcester, Massachusetts on December 30, 2021.

Joseph Prezioso | AFP | Getty Pictures

President Joe Biden on Thursday will announce the deployment of six groups of army medical personnel to overwhelmed hospitals in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Michigan and New Mexico, a White Home official stated.

The deployments come as hospitals grapple with staffing shortages as nurses and different medical personnel name out sick from omicron amid a surge of sufferers contaminated with the extremely contagious variant.

Biden may also say the administration plans to purchase a further 500 million Covid exams, on prime of the five hundred million it’s already procuring, to distribute without spending a dime throughout America, the official stated.

Covid-19 hospitalizations are increased than final winter’s peak, earlier than the widespread distribution of vaccines. Greater than 152,000 folks within the U.S. have been hospitalized with Covid as of Wednesday, up 18% during the last week, in accordance with information tracked by the Division of Well being and Human Providers.

The U.S. reported virtually 900,000 new infections on Wednesday, bringing the seven-day common to greater than 786,000 new instances per day — a pandemic file and a 37% improve over the earlier week, in accordance with a CNBC evaluation of knowledge compiled by Johns Hopkins College.

A median of greater than 1,000 hospitals nationwide are at the moment reporting important staffing shortages, in accordance with HHS information. Nevertheless, it is seemingly an undercount as a result of many hospitals weren’t reporting their standing as of Wednesday.

Dr. Gillian Schmitz, president of the American School of Emergency Physicians, stated the pressure on front-line staff is worse now than at another level within the pandemic.

“Many locations throughout the nation are attending to the purpose the place even their backup workers are getting sick,” Schmitz advised CNBC Wednesday. “Just about the entire nation proper now could be feeling this surge of instances that’s impacting staffing.”

Biden introduced his plan to deploy 1,000 army medical personnel to assist hospitals in December as omicron was quickly overtaking the delta variant. The Federal Emergency Administration Company can also be offering extra hospital bends and sending ambulances and EMS groups to assist transport sufferers.

“It is not sufficient,” Schmitz advised CNBC Wednesday. “I do know everyone seems to be making an attempt to assist as finest we are able to, however there are restricted sources even inside our nationwide construction.”

Epidemiologists have warned that the sheer magnitude of omicron infections nonetheless threatens to overwhelm hospitals with sufferers, even when the variant is usually much less extreme than delta.

Infectious illness specialists, in a examine this week, discovered that omicron sufferers at Kaiser Permanente Southern California have been 74% much less more likely to want intensive care and 91% much less more likely to die from the virus in comparison with individuals who caught the delta variant. Not one of the omicron sufferers required mechanical air flow, in accordance with the examine.

The general danger of hospitalizations was additionally 52% decrease for omicron sufferers in contrast with individuals who had delta, in accordance with the examine. Hospital stays for omicron sufferers have been additionally about three days shorter than than their delta counterparts.

Kaiser Permanente Southern California offers care to greater than 4.7 million folks. The examine, which has not been peer reviewed but, analyzed greater than 52,000 omicron instances and almost 17,000 delta instances.

Medical doctors and nurses have warned about staffing shortages for months. The American Nurses Affiliation in September known as on the Biden administration to declare the nursing scarcity a nationwide disaster.

“The nation’s well being care supply methods are overwhelmed, and nurses are drained and pissed off as this persistent pandemic rages on ad infinitum,” ANA President Ernest Grant stated on the time. “Nurses alone can’t remedy this longstanding difficulty and it isn’t our burden to hold,” Grant stated.

Appearing Meals and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock advised lawmakers on Tuesday the U.S. should guarantee hospitals and different important companies do not break down as folks name out sick.

“It is onerous to course of what’s truly occurring proper now, which is most individuals are going to get Covid,” Woodcock testified earlier than the Senate well being committee on Tuesday. “What we have to do is make sure that the hospitals can nonetheless operate, transportation, different important companies should not disrupted whereas this occurs.”

CNBC’s Christina Wilkie contributed to this text.

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