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Tags: coronavirus | pandemic | vaccine | testing | us | biden

WH Official: Congressional Funding Needed to Combat COVID Omicron Strain

By    |   Tuesday, 25 October 2022 07:14 PM EDT

The White House warned Tuesday that, in the absence of additional congressional funding for COVID-19 treatments, immunocompromised people would soon be at greater risk against emerging subvariants of the omicron strain.

Ashish Jha, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, offered a public plea for increased COVID funding, claiming "with some of the new subvariants emerging, some of the main tools we've had to protect the immunocompromised, like Evusheld, may not work moving forward. That's a huge challenge."

According to its corporate website, Evusheld is an "investigational medicine used in adults and adolescents (12 years of age and older) who weigh at least 88 pounds for pre-exposure prophylaxis for prevention of COVID-19."

The Hill also reports that Evusheld "is the only monoclonal antibody authorized as a periodic injection to prevent [COVID] infection."

One potential hangup, moving forward: Health officials are reportedly "alarmed" about Evusheld not working against the BA.4.6 strain, which accounts for 12% of coronavirus infections.

Jha's sentiment was shared by President Joe Biden earlier Tuesday.

"New variants may make some existing protections ineffective for the immunocompromised. Sadly, this means you may be at a special risk this winter," said Biden, while receiving his updated booster shot.

"So, I urge you. I urge you to consult with your doctor on the right steps to protect yourself. Take extra precautions," added Biden.

Another reason for Jha calling for an infusion of coronavirus-related monies: Without more funding, the administration wouldn't have the means to invest in treatments that work against emerging variants. 

As one example, Regeneron — which had previous success against older variants — has already been pulled from the market, since it serves no medicinal purpose against the omicron strain, according to The Hill.

"Lack of congressional funding has made it difficult for us to replenish our medicine cabinet," Jha said. "Because of a lack of congressional funding the medicine cabinet has actually shrunk, and that does put vulnerable people at risk."

Health officials have long been signaling the potential for a brutal winter, illness-wise.

As Newsmax chronicled nearly two weeks ago, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believe certain U.S. areas are "ripe" for a "severe" flu season this fall and winter.

While speaking to NBC News then, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky reasoned that "not everybody got flu vaccinated last year, and many people did not get the flu. So, that makes us ripe to have potentially a severe flu season."

Among the regions projected to experience a rash of flu-related illnesses, Walensky said the South and south-central portions of America could be hardest hit over the next few months.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
The White House warned Tuesday that, in the absence of additional congressional funding for COVID-19 treatments, immunocompromised people would soon be at greater risk against emerging subvariants of the omicron strain.
coronavirus, pandemic, vaccine, testing, us, biden
437
2022-14-25
Tuesday, 25 October 2022 07:14 PM
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