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The next steps in fighting the coronavirus pandemic have to be taken at the state level, President Joe Biden told a group of governors Monday.

“Look, there is no federal solution,” he said after joining the White House COVID-19 response team’s regular call with the National Governors Association on Monday. “This gets solved at the state level.”

In his first public remarks about the pandemic after Christmas, Biden sought to highlight what his administration is doing to respond to the omicron variant outbreak that is sweeping the United States and the world.

“We’re mobilizing an additional 1,000 military doctors and nurses and medics to help staff hospitals,” he said. “FEMA is deploying hundreds of ambulances and EMS crews to transport patients.”

“The bottom line is we want to assure the American people that we’re prepared,” Biden added. “We know what it takes and as this group of bipartisan governors shown, we’re going to get through it by working together.”

The president also pointed out that the availability of vaccines has left Americans in a much safer place today than at the beginning of the pandemic.

In response to a question from Gov. Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark., about production and distribution by the federal government of rapid coronavirus tests, Biden said: “We just have to stay focused and continue to work together. My message to the governor is simple. If you need something, say something. And we’re going to have your back in any way we can.”

President Joe Biden, shown here departing the White House, told a group of governors Monday, Dec. 27, 2021, that the next steps in fighting the coronavirus pandemic have to be taken at the state level.
President Joe Biden, shown here departing the White House, told a group of governors Monday, Dec. 27, 2021, that the next steps in fighting the coronavirus pandemic have to be taken at the state level. (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post)

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