On Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2022, President Joe Biden outlined a new plan to combat the surging Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. In addition to encouraging Americans to get vaccinated and receive a booster shot, the administration plans other aggressive steps to blunt the effect of the newest COVID-19 variant.

The plan released Tuesday includes deploying 1,000 troops to hospitals and setting up more vaccination sites. The administration will also purchase 500 million at-home rapid tests that will be available to Americans starting next month free of charge. 

Some experts worried that the response was too little, too late. 

“These actions actually are going to be extremely useful, particularly shoring up of hospital capacity,” said Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “However, it is disappointing that the acceleration and the availability of home testing is only going to come beginning in January, when there is such a pressing need for them now and this was a predictable need.”

Read the full article at the Los Angeles Times.