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Biden admin forecasts fall, winter COVID-19 wave with 100M potential infections

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Biden admin forecasts fall, winter COVID-19 wave with 100M potential infections
President Joe Biden receives his second COVID-19 booster shot from Pfizer, by a member of the White House Medical Unit. The Biden administration forecasts a fall and winter wave of COVID-19 with a potential for 100 million infections and upticks in deaths and hospitalizations. File Photo by Rod Lamkey/UPI | License Photo

May 7 (UPI) -- The administration of President Joe Biden forecasts a fall and winter wave of COVID-19 amid waning of vaccine immunity, with a potential for 100 million infections and upticks in deaths and hospitalizations.

The projection, including both the fall and winter, was based on a range of outside models the administration has been closely tracking, a senior administration official told CNN Saturday.

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It was also based on an underlying assumption of no additional resources or funding from Congress or extra mitigation measures to address COVID-19 and its new variants.

The senior administration official made the projection Friday during a background briefing as the country nears a COVID-19 death toll of 1 million. The move was part of a push for Congress to restart negotiations to approve more funding to boost the country's readiness, The Washington Post reported.

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The Biden administration had requested $22.5 billion in immediate emergency funds to curb the COVID-19 pandemic in late March.

The White House had warned in a statement at the time that dwindling funds had led to setbacks in purchasing future vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, reimbursements for treatment of the uninsured, and access to antibody tests.

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Last month, bipartisan congressional negotiators reached a deal to supply $10 billion of the $22.5 billion the administration had requested with Democratic lawmakers making a concession to eliminate funding for global pandemic aid.

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But passage of the deal has been stalled for weeks amid disputes over the administration's decision to relax pandemic restrictions at the U.S. border.

If it remains stalled, the administration will likely use money set aside for more tests and therapeutics to purchase more vaccines, leaving the country more vulnerable, the senior official told The Washington Post.

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