Biden sends extra aid to Ohio as hospitals deal with COVID-19 pressure

FEMA will dispatch COVID-19 medical teams to help overwhelmed hospitals in Ohio, New York, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Arizona and Michigan.
‘Health care personnel are exhausted’: White House will dispatch military medical teams to six...
‘Health care personnel are exhausted’: White House will dispatch military medical teams to six states next week to help with omicron surge
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 5:00 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The White House announced it plans to send extra help to states that are seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases. Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell said the Biden Administration plans to send military personnel around the country, including the Cleveland Clinic. The hospital is one of six locations in the U.S. that will begin receiving personnel next week.

“Coming in and providing a little bit of relief so the health care system they’re supporting can get back on its feet and get ready to support the next wave,” said Criswell.

The announcement comes as the Cleveland Clinic’s capacity limits are being tested. Criswell said the deployment of these military medical professionals can take the weight off some hospitals, helping to fill staffing shortages and give some workers a break. But could this extra help have come sooner as some states are already seeing cases peak?

“As soon as we heard from them that we needed resources we are pushing those resources in,” said Criswell.

Criswell and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra say the government has been working with hospitals throughout the pandemic, constantly assessing needs in hard hit areas.

Next week, 1,000 medical personnel will be dispatched to New York, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Arizona, and Michigan in addition to Ohio, bringing extra masks, tests, and other equipment with them.

“Our health care personnel are exhausted. They’re resilient but they’re exhausted,” said Secretary Becerra.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is concerned seeing the COVID numbers in his state. He believes Ohio has not done a good job at prioritizing a strong COVID response and hopes more effort goes into supporting public health efforts.

“When we follow public health authorities, we win. When we follow politicians who are demagoguing this stuff, we don’t win,” said Brown.

The White House will continue rolling out these personnel decisions on a need basis, looking at most impacted areas as Omicron continues to surge.

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