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Biden to send federal medical personnel to help overwhelmed Indiana hospitals

Joe Biden
Posted at 7:52 AM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 19:06:17-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden will announce in a speech Tuesday that he will deploy federal medical personnel to help at Indiana hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, the Associated Press reported.

Biden will provide details of the plan in an address at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The federal medical personnel will help hospitals buckling under the new COVID-19 wave in Indiana, Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, Vermont and Wisconsin.

In a statement, IU Health said the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency accepted its request to provide federal help for 30 days beginning this week at Methodist Hospital.

"The 20 person clinical team will consist of physicians, nurses and respiratory professionals, and be integrated into medical units at IU Health Methodist in areas of greatest need," the statement said. "IU Health leadership continues to meet with U.S. military leadership to navigate the operations plan and ensure optimal utilization of this support team."

Biden also plans to deliver 500 million free COVID-19 tests to Americans and expand the availability of vaccines to confront a winter surge of the coronavirus driven by the fast-spreading omicron variant.

Biden’s speech will also stress the importance of getting vaccinated to protect from a wave of infections as Christmas approaches.

The world is facing a second straight holiday season with COVID-19. Scientists know vaccination should offer strong protections against severe illness and death.

Biden's top medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said the Democratic president will issue “a stark warning of what the winter will look like” for unvaccinated Americans.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.