Biden spoke to the country after the holidays, when COVID-19 cases rose. During a speech on Tuesday, President Joe Biden will talk about the omicron variant of COVID-19 cases, which has been spreading at record rates since the holidays.
In the last week, almost one in every 100 Americans has been infected with the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins. People in the U.S. reported more than one million cases on Monday alone, but many of them may have been backlogged from the New Year.
COVID-19 case counts may have been skewed by the holidays. But the spike in coronavirus cases across the country shows that there is a clear trend of yet another wave of the virus, and it’s likely that not all cases are being reported because of at-home COVID-19 tests. In December, Biden gave $137 million to help more people get at-home tests.
Biden and Kamala Harris will meet with the White House COVID-19 Response Team before they speak to the country.
They’ll learn about resources being sent to states and communities to help with staffing and hospital capacity, as well as the most recent data on the omicron variant of the virus.
An employee at a state-run hospital in Rhode Island who has “mild symptoms” of the virus that COVID-19 cases has been told that they can work.
“We have officially told the Rhode Island Department of Health that we are in such a staffing situation,” a memo obtained by the Providence Journal on Monday said.
During this time, the Department of Health said that no hospital in Rhode Island had decided to bring back infected employees. The memo was sent out on New Year’s Day.
Joseph Wendelken, a spokesman for the Health Department, told the Journal over the weekend that “no facility has told us that they need COVID-19 cases positive health care providers to work.”
“If a facility does reach that point, that information would be made public so patients and their families would know,” says the doctor.
On Monday, Wendelken told the Journal that the information was correct at the time, but it was changing.
In a statement, Lynn Blais, president of the United Nurses and Allied Professionals, said her union was “unequivocally opposed” to the state’s decision to allow COVID-19 positive healthcare workers to work. She said her union represents more than 7,000 nurses and other health care workers.