Biden highlighting federal ‘surge’ to help weather omicron

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is highlighting the federal government’s efforts to “surge” COVID-19 testing and medical personnel to help overwhelmed medical facilities. The effort comes amid the upswing in coronavirus cases and staff shortages due to the omicron variant.

Starting next week, 1,000 military medical personnel will begin arriving to help mitigate staffing crunches at hospitals.

Biden on Thursday will announce military medical teams being deployed to Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island.

The White House says Biden also will announce he’s directing his team to double its procurement of rapid COVID-19 tests to be delivered for free to Americans through a federal website.