President Joe Biden today announced the launch of covid.gov, a new one-stop shop for finding COVID-19 vaccines, masks, tests, and treatments by county on an easy-to-use website.
"We are in a new moment in this pandemic, it does not mean it's over, it means it no longer controls our lives," Biden said, before announcing he was getting his second booster dose of vaccine later this afternoon. "Thanks to the foundation we have laid, America has the tools to fight the virus."
Despite the optimistic message, Biden warned that the federal government only has enough money to fund COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments until the end of May, and he pleaded with Congress to authorize more money for COVID-19 response.
Biden also warned that a lack of funds would mean booster shots may not be free in the fall, when many experts expect all Americans will be eligible for a fourth booster shot. Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the use of a fourth dose for Americans 50 and older who have seen at least 4 month elapse from their first booster dose.
The CDC COVID Data Tracker shows 65.5% of Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, 76.9% have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 44.8% of fully vaccinated Americans have received a booster dose.
BA.2 accounts for 55% of virus
The United States reported 23,643 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, and 961 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker.
The 7-day average of new daily cases is 29,716, with 731 daily deaths, according to the Washington Post tracker.
The CDC Nowcast estimates that BA.2 now accounts for 54.9% of circulating variants in the United States. The new variant is accounting for a small uptick in cases in some states, mostly in the Northeast.
Mask mandates on planes challenged
Twenty-one Republican state attorneys general filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration yesterday to block the federal mask mandate on public transportation, the New York Times reports.
Last month, the Transportation Security Administration extended the mandate on public transit, including airplanes, until Apr 18.
Also, a new report from the Black Coalition Against COVID details the disproportionate toll the pandemic has taken on Black Americans. Though Black and White adults are now vaccinated at similar rates, Black Americans were more likely to die early in the pandemic.