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(CNN)Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Deanne Criswell is set to announce at Friday's White House press briefing new steps from the Biden administration to help alleviate staffing shortages at hospitals across the country amid the spread of the Omicron variant.

On Thursday, an administration official told CNN, Criswell "directed an expansion of FEMA policy to support Governors in using their National Guard to meet urgent staffing needs at healthcare facilities.
"This direction from FEMA, which was previewed exclusively to CNN, means that governors have more flexibility to use National Guard members for support services at hospitals.
    "Now, FEMA has granted governors flexibility to perform vital support missions at primary medical facilities when, in the judgment of public health officials, doing so is necessary to sustain the provision of Covid-19 medical care at those facilities and failure to do so would constitute an immediate threat to the public health and safety," the official said.
      Those extra services National Guard members can now provide include "activities like linen and laundry services, food preparation and delivery, biomedical waste removal, perimeter fencing, contracted security guards, professional cleaning and other related services," the official said.National Guard steps in to alleviate pressure on hospital overwhelmed by Omicron waveRead MoreThat expanded help comes as cases continue to surge and hospitalizations rise. Some states' health care systems are beset with nearly-full intensive care units. Nineteen states have less than 15% remaining capacity in their ICUs. Four of them have less than 10%: Kentucky, Alabama, Indiana and New Hampshire, according to data Wednesday from the US Department of Health and Human Services. The rising cases have led to decreased staffing at hospitals, from doctors to support staff.President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the US has deployed 120 military medical personnel to six additional hard-hit states: Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island and New Mexico.
        Since Thanksgiving, he said, more than 800 military and other federal personnel have been deployed across 24 states, tribes, and territories, including more than 350 military doctors, nurses, and medics. More than 14,000 National Guard members are also activated in 49 states. All of those deployments, he noted, are fully paid for by the Covid relief package passed by Congress early last year. He said he has also directed FEMA to ensure there is enough hospital bed capacity in every state.Friday's announcement is meant to alleviate additional personnel shortages. The use of the National Guard will be paid for by FEMA, as authorized by Biden, through April 1.

        News Source: CNN

        Tags: national guard members national guard the official said flexibility have less public health to alleviate at hospitals capacity paid to announce

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        Bye-bye Brooklyn? Report suggests James Harden wants to play elsewhere

        James Harden is supposedly unhappy in Brooklyn and has ‘voiced his frustrations regarding Kyrie Irving’s part-time status’, according to a report by Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer. Makes sense for the beard to be upset given his unfinished resume, however we should be clear here:

        James Harden’s frustration should be with the Nets and the city of Brooklyn for their crummy vaccine protocols, not Irving.

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        The Brooklyn Nets are still in decent shape when it comes to the playoffs with the eastern conference being weak and all — the problem is that given the current protocols for home games, Kyrie won’t be available for home playoff games. What are the chances the Nets don’t need a member of their "big three" for any home game in a series throughout the playoffs?

        Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives to the basket against Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma (33) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

        Teams that’ve won titles in the past, regardless of talent, have always needed every player on their rosters. That’s not going to fly with the 2018 MVP in large part because he literally has to win a title to cement his legacy. Even if Harden had to team up with arguably the greatest scorer ever behind Jordan and another perennial all-star to capture that elusive championship, he’ll be remembered as a regular season star that choked in the playoffs.

        This leaves room for traction of the beard landing elsewhere. Could it be the Boston Celtics, who have a surplus of talent at the guard and forward position that need an upgrade at point guard? Or will the Philadelphia 76ers manage to pry Harden with Ben Simmons that hasn’t played a single minute this year?

        Boston native Bill Simmons weighed in:

        He’s not wrong. What sense would it make for the Nets to acquire Ben Simmons for James Harden? Plenty of talent in the NBA that’d suffice in a deal for James Harden, and now suddenly the 76ers’ offer is the best they can do? A player that can’t shoot a basketball has no business as the feature of a return on an MVP candidate.

        Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden gives instructions during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

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        And yes, we’re pretty sure the Brooklyn Nets have no aspirations to help a division rival build a contender. There’s a better chance Harden ends up in Shanghai than the Nets agreeing to send a star player to the Sixers.

        Where will Harden end up, though?

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