President Joe Biden plans to announce Thursday that a "surge" of U.S. military medical personnel will soon be deployed to hospitals struggling with staff shortages amid soaring COVID-19 cases.
More than 1,000 will begin arriving at hospitals nationwide starting next week, and that deployment will be in addition to other federal medical personnel who have already been sent to states to offset staff shortages, the Associated Press reported.
Many hospitals are facing staffing crunches as infected workers stay home and COVID-19 cases skyrocket as the highly contagious Omicron variant takes over the country.
Biden will announce that six more military medical teams will be deployed to Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island, the AP reported.
Those teams will support Henry Ford Hospital just outside Detroit, University Hospital in Newark, the University of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque, Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, and Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.
Along with announcing the new deployments, Biden and other officials will note the efforts of the more than 800 military personnel who have been helping civilian hospitals since Thanksgiving, and the more than 14,000 National Guard members who've been assisting with vaccinations, testing and caring for patients with the support of the federal government.
The highly transmissible Omicron variant is likely to infect "most people" and what "we need to do is make sure the hospitals can still function -- transportation, other essential services are not disrupted while this happens," Janet Woodcock, acting head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, told Congress Tuesday, the AP reported.
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on COVID hospitalizations.
SOURCE: Associated Press