WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) has asked President Joe Biden to take new critical steps to address the impacts of the current COVID-19 omicron surge.
This week, Gottheimer is asking the President to:
- Increase rapid testing supplies — by continuing to partner with private sector leaders and using the full power of the federal government, including the Defense Production Act.
- Further utilize the National Guard to expand COVID-19 testing — by working with state leaders to further deploy the National Guard to staff temporary testing sites in locations with the highest demand.
- Mobilize FEMA strike teams to staff healthcare facilities — to counter the shortages of staff in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
- Ensure the widespread availability of cutting-edge COVID-19 treatments effective against the new variant — by expanding the availability of monoclonal antibody treatments, such as GlaxoSmithKline’s Sotrovimab, and supplying new antiviral drugs like Pfizer’s Paxlovid to hospitals, rather than retail pharmacies alone.
“I commend you for your Administration’s prompt response, including your further promotion of immunization, boosters, and efforts to protect our children while keeping schools open,” wrote Congressman Josh Gottheimer in a letter to the President this week. “Still, additional action is needed to best equip our communities to handle this variant. Several steps could be immediately beneficial, including: increasing rapid testing supplies; further utilization of the National Guard to expand COVID-19 testing; mobilizing FEMA strike teams to staff healthcare facilities in our hardest-hit communities; and, ensuring the widespread availability of cutting-edge COVID-19 treatments effective against the new variant.”
“By taking the additional steps outlined here, we can lessen the impact of the omicron variant and minimize the disruptions it will cause in the coming weeks,” Gottheimer said.
Last week, Gottheimer requested New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy take critical steps to help the state combat the current COVID-19 omicron surge and its impacts on communities, and asked HHS and CMS to address conditions at the Andover Subacute/Woodlawn long-term care facility — the site of the worst current COVID-19 omicron outbreak in New Jersey.