US President Joe Biden received his second COVID-19 booster shot on March 30, immediately after announcing the launch of government website – covid.gov – where US residents can find resources relating to Covid-19 in their area.
“Covid-19 no longer controls our lives […] but now, thanks to the foundation we’ve laid, America has the tools to protect people, all people,” Biden said in a speech at the White House. “No longer will Americans have to scour the internet to find vaccines, treatments, tests or masks; it’s all there,” he said.
Visitors to the “one-stop shop” website could also find data on the spread of the virus in their area, and directions to sites where they could find treatment, said Biden.
The president also urged Congress to “act immediately” to approve more funding for the government’s pandemic response efforts, saying the consequences of not doing so were “severe”.
“This isn’t partisan, it’s medicine,” Biden said.
After finishing his speech, Biden stepped to the side of the stage and received an injection from a medical professional. Credit: The White House via Storyful
JOE BIDEN: Good afternoon. Today I'd like to update you all on where we stand on COVID-19. Because of the strategy we executed over the past year on vaccinations, testing treatments, and more, we're now in a new moment in this pandemic. It does not mean that COVID 19 is over. It means that COVID 19 no longer controls our lives. That's what it means. Cases are ticking up, as we thought they might. But now, thanks to the foundation we've laid, America has the tools to protect people-- all people. And, you know, as we've done on from day one, my administration is making it easier than ever for Americans to access these tools. Today, I'm announcing the launch of COVID.gov. Covid.gov. A one-- excuse me-- a one-stop shop where anyone in America can find what they need to navigate the virus-- free vaccines and boosters, free at home tests, high quality masks. And for the latest information about the level of COVID-19 spread in your community, you can get that immediately. Now, you'll also be able to find our new test-to-treat locations, which I announced in my State of the Union address. These are pharmacies and other places in your neighborhood where you can get tested. And if you're positive, you can get life-saving treatments all in one stop. We've already stood up 2000 test-and-street sites-- test-and-treat sites-- across the country. We're also nearly at-- we have nearly 200 sites just to serve military families and veteran's communities as well. We've done-- what we've done throughout the pandemic-- we've ensured these locations are the hardest hit, hardest to reach communities as well. The bottom line-- no longer will Americans have to scour the internet to find vaccines, treatments, tests or masks. It's all there. And just go visit Covid.gov. Covid.gov. And let me remind you-- when I took office about 14 months ago, the pandemic was raging, the economy was reeling, and the deficit was soaring. Most schools were closed. We didn't have enough vaccines. The unemployment claims were sky high. And then we got to work and we delivered enough vaccines for every American months ahead of schedule, effective treatments, at-home tests that are free and accessible. Over 99% of our schools are open again. Businesses are open again. And because of how we've responded, we created more jobs last year than ever before-- 6.7 million jobs. And by the way, we did it while cutting the deficit, the largest one year deficit reduction in American history. Say that again. The largest one year deficit reduction in American history. But none of that happened by accident. We were able to do it because we coordinated across the government, partnered with state and local leaders, governors on both sides of the aisle, and the private sector to leverage every resource we had to fight against this virus. We left no stone unturned. And we were able to do it because Congress worked with us and provided us the necessary funding. But now, just as we've reached a critical turning point in this fight, Congress has to provide the funding America needs to continue to fight COVID-19. While we're at-- we're already seeing the consequences of congressional inaction. The monoclonal antibody-- take monoclonal antibodies, for example. They've helped save lives. This isn't partisan. It's medicine. But Congress hasn't provided enough money to keep purchasing these monoclonal antibodies. We've had to cancel planned orders and cut the supply we're sending to the states. Without more funding, we'll start to run out of them by the end of May-- the end of May. We've also had to scale back our plan to purchase more preventive therapies for Americans who are immunocompromised, critical tools to protect the most vulnerable among us. Without more funding, we risk running out of the supply by this fall. The same is true of testing. It took months to ramp up our testing capacity. The Omicron-- we saw how vital-- and with Omicron, we saw how vital it was. And we have enough tests on hand to weather the surge. But without funding, we're not going to be able to sustain the testing capacity beyond the month of June. And if we fail to invest, we leave ourselves vulnerable if another wave of the virus hits. Look. On vaccines, an most important tool in this fight, we're also running a risk. Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration-- the FDA-- and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, authorized the fourth shot for those 50 years and older. We know boosters are critical to providing an additional level of protection. That's why I plan to get my second booster today, right here after I'm done speaking. If you haven't gotten your first booster, please don't wait. Do it today. Those who are 50 and older, as well as those who are immunocompromised can now get it-- get even more protection than they have from the initial first doses. We have enough supply to give booster shots to those newly eligible individuals, but if Congress fails to act, we won't have the supply we need this fall to ensure the shots are available free, easily accessible for all Americans. Even worse, if we need a different vaccine for the future to combat a new variant, we're not going to have enough money to purchase it. We cannot allow that to happen. Congress, we need to secure additional supply now-- now. We can't wait as we find ourselves in the midst of another surge to act. It'll be too late. And we also need this funding to continue our efforts to vaccinate the world-- the commitments we made. It's critical to our ability to protect against new variants. There's no wall you can build high enough to keep out a virus. Congress needs to act now, please Let me close with this. I've worked so hard to get our lives-- we've worked so hard to-- we, all of us have worked so hard to get our lives back. We're summoning every ounce of American resilience, pulled every lever of our government, called upon the goodness, decency, and patriotism of the American people. And together we turned in unthinkable pain into an extraordinary progress and purpose. Americans are back to living their lives again. We can't surrender that now. Congress, please act. You have to act immediately. The consequences of inaction are severe. They only grow with time. But it doesn't have to be that way. We approve of what we can do when we work together. So I urge Democrats and Republicans to get this done with urgency. Let's stand united. Let's continue to pull together. Let's get this done. Thank you, and God bless you all, and may God protect our troops. And I'm going to get my second booster shot. I'm not sure why I'm doing it on stage-- [INAUDIBLE] - Mr. President, what is the danger of Putin being left in the dark by the attorney advisors? - I'm reluctant to comment on that. - Can you comment on the declassified intelligence that he doesn't trust his military leadership since it is declassified? - No. [INTERPOSING VOICES] - Mr. President, is the US willing to provide security guarantees to Ukraine as part of peace talks? - Doing great. - Is the US willing to provide security guarantees to Ukraine as part of peace talks with Russia? - Mr. President, are you going to extend Title 42? - We'll have a decision on that soon. [INTERPOSING VOICES] - --Reached in poor countries on vaccination will affect the fight against COVID here? - What did President Zelensky say about-- [INTERPOSING VOICES] - --between the gap-- [INTERPOSING VOICES] - Are there enough funds-- the Pfizer vaccine for free. - Mr. President! - [LAUGHING] - Mr. President-- [INTERPOSING VOICES] - I've always thought that it discourages people getting the vaccination when they watch people get a needle in their arm. So I apologize for discouraging them. It didn't hurt a bit. And I was able to roll my sleeve up. And thank you all for coming. [INTERPOSING VOICES] - Will you meet with Trevor Reed's parents, Mr. President, while they're here in Washington? - I'm going to see if I can get to see them. They're good-- they're good people. I haven't. We're trying to work that out. Thank you. [INTERPOSING VOICES]