Covid-19 cases are falling in the US, but numbers are still very high. More than 1,600 people are dying of the virus every day, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) seven-day average of new deaths, as the US closes in on the milestone of one million total Covid-19-related deaths.
Despite that, Biden highlighted the CDC’s recently updated mask guidelines, which show that “most Americans in most of the country can now be mask free,” CNN’s Maegan Vazquez reports.
Here are the main takeaways:
From next week, Americans can order additional free at-home Covid-19 tests supplied by the US government. “If you already ordered free tests, tonight, I’m announcing you can order another group of tests. Go to Covidtest.gov starting next week and you can get more tests,” Biden said. A new initiative will provide free antiviral pills to Americans who test positive. “We’re launching the ‘Test to Treat’ initiative so people can get tested at a pharmacy, and if they’re positive, receive antiviral pills on the spot at no cost,” he said. Biden said now was the moment for people to begin going back to work regularly, following two years of pandemic-related changes to the workplace. “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again,” he urged. Biden called for a bipartisan “reset” from the polarization of the past two years. “We can’t change how divided we’ve been. But we can change how we move forward — on Covid-19 and other issues we must face together,” he said.