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Joe Biden warns of another pandemic, says US must be prepared

Erin Scott (White House) / Wikimedia Commons

The world is still experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, and US President Joe Biden said this week that this would not be the last. Biden warned that the country must be prepared for a future pandemic.

During a White House news conference Tuesday, Biden said the country must be prepared for another pandemic in the future as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will not be the last.

The US leader made the remarks when he was pressed on getting Congress to approve funds for COVID-19 vaccines for infants and toddlers. Biden said the funds for vaccine supplies would last until the end of the year.

“We do need more money. But we don’t just need money for vaccines for children. Eventually, we need more money to plan for the second pandemic,” said the US leader.

“There’s going to be another pandemic,” warned Biden. “We have to think ahead.”

This follows a report by Bloomberg last week that the Biden administration is expected to announce a renewed “biodefense strategy” to improve the country’s response to a pandemic.

Biden’s proposed budget for 2023 indicates $82 billion in the span of five years toward preparation for biological threats.

The main goal is to create an environment where the US can produce effective vaccines and treatments for a pathogen within 100 days of discovery. The funding would also be used to boost healthcare infrastructure and expand research to identify potential biological threats.

In other related news, the Biden administration announced Tuesday that it was sending Ukraine an additional $450 million in military aid as Kyiv continues to resist Russian attacks. The new package would include four multiple launch rocket systems and artillery ammunition for other systems.

The package will also include 18 patrol boats for monitoring coasts and rivers as well as small arms.

This follows last week’s announcement by the administration that it was sending $1 billion in additional military aid to Ukraine, which included howitzers, ammunition, and coastal defense systems. The US has now provided around $6.1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion back in February, and $6.8 billion since Biden took office in January 2021.

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