White House officials called on Congress Tuesday to approve funding for the Biden administration's COVID-19 fall booster campaign.
The request for action also came with a warning: U.S. medical officials won't have enough resources to handle an unexpected coronavirus surge in the fall — without additional funding.
The COVID-19 booster campaign has proven to be safe and effective against new coronavirus variants, according to White House health officials.
Also, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House's chief medical adviser, speculate the updated vaccines could be available for public consumption in the coming weeks.
"By the end of this week, over 90% of Americans will live within five miles of these new updated vaccines," said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.
The proximity and availability of the COVID-19 boosters can be searched for on vaccines.gov.
Earlier this year, according to reports, the White House had to temporarily move around funds devoted to the COVID-19 response.
This prompted Becerra to characterize the notion of going into the fall and winter seasons, without plentiful vaccines, as "unacceptable."
"We will not have tests in our Strategic National Stockpile should we see another omicron like event," Becerra said. "We had promised the American people we would make sure that we did not get into that, but we needed Congress to step up. Congress has not stepped up," says Becerra.
"And so while we may have the vaccines today for folks for this fall vaccine effort, we don't know what's coming next," Becerra added. "We don't know what the next generation of vaccine will look like if we don't have the resources to continue that research going."
As Newsmax chronicled in May, the White House previously warned that additional boosters and variant-specific vaccines would not be available for everyone, if Congress didn't approve the new wave of funding.
Back then, the White House estimated that as many as 100 million Americans could get infected with COVID-19 this fall and winter.
That report, courtesy of The Hill speaking to a senior White House official, stated the median range of coronavirus models from outside experts suggests "significantly more" Americans will catch the virus in the coming months, particularly if there's a new variant.
According to reports, the Biden administration will be requesting approximately $22.4 billion to fund the updated COVID-19 response, along with roughly $4 billion to respond to the ongoing monkeypox outbreak.
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