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- 46th and current president of the United States
WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden is expected to deploy military units to Ohio and five other states as part of a plan to aid flailing hospitals struggling under the sustained pressure of COVID-19 surges.
Starting next week, 1,000 military medical personnel will begin arriving to help mitigate staffing crunches at hospitals across the country. Many facilities are struggling because their workers are in at-home quarantines due to the virus at the same time as a nationwide spike in COVID-19 cases. The new deployments will be on top of other federal medical personnel who have already been sent to states to help with acute shortages.
The majority of the deployed military personnel will be trained doctors and nurses, according to the Washington Post.
The White House said the teams will support Henry Ford Hospital just outside Detroit, University Hospital in New Jersey, the University of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque, Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, Cleveland Clinic and Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.
Ohio is in the midst of an unprecedented COVID-19 surge statewide. The state is now averaging more than 17,000 new COVID-19 cases per day. More than 330 Ohioans are hospitalized daily due to the virus, according to the state health department.
One out of every three patients in Ohio hospitals tested positive for COVID-19, the Ohio Hospital Association said.
The current surge started in November and has continued through mid-January. Many hospital systems throughout the state suspended nonessential surgeries, closed emergency departments to people seeking COVID-19 tests and requested help from Gov. Mike DeWine. The Ohio National Guard deployed statewide in December, with units running mass testing sites and bolstering the ranks of staffing-challenged hospitals.
“Ohio hospitals appreciate the continued support and service of the Ohio National Guard during this critical time of healthcare need related to COVID-19. The testing locations organized by the Guard and hospitals have been extremely important to provide this dedicated service to give better access to testing while alleviating demand of hospitals’ emergency departments. We will continue to assess daily the needs for testing and the best utilization of Guard support during this surge,” the Ohio Hospital Association said in a statement.
Reporting from the Associated Press was used in this article.