Speed Reads

Omicron Blues

Biden to deploy military medical teams to hospitals in 6 states struggling with Omicron

President Biden is sending military medical teams to help hospitals in six states manage rising COVID-19 cases, USA Today and ABC News report. Biden will announce the deployment of doctors, nurses, and clinical personnel to New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Michigan on Thursday alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, and the medical teams will arrive as early as next week. 

These will be the first teams sent out from a reserve force of 1,000 military medical personnel the White House announced in December, when Biden had the Pentagon send an initial batch of doctors, nurses, and paramedics to several states.

The stampede of cases of the Omicron variant appears to be slowing in several East Coast cities, including New York, and health officials and epidemiologists are cautiously optimistic that cases will start falling in a week or two. But hospitalizations are a lagging indicator and will likely continue to rise for about a week after new infections start dropping, The Washington Post reports