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Biden says COVID-19 Omicron variant is “trigger for concern, not a trigger for panic”


Washington — President Biden on Monday urged People to stay calm as scientists work to find out the power and the transmissibility of the brand new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, saying the U.S. has the power to cope with the brand new pressure that’s circulating the globe.

The president, flanked by chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and Vice President Kamala Harris, advised the nation the variant is a “trigger for concern, not a trigger for panic.” He mentioned the U.S. has extra instruments to struggle COVID-19 than ever earlier than, and is in a a lot better place to struggle the virus than it was in March 2020, and even December 2020. The president mentioned he’ll launch a extra detailed technique on Thursday for combating COVID-19 and the Omicron variant within the weeks forward. 

“In the end, we’ll see circumstances of this new variant right here in america,” he mentioned. “We’ll must face this new risk, simply as we confronted those who have come earlier than it.”

The Biden administration imposed journey restrictions on these coming from eight nations in Southern Africa starting Monday. Mr. Biden mentioned the restrictions are obligatory to provide People extra time to organize for the variant by getting the vaccine or a booster shot. 

“Whereas we’ve got the journey restrictions can gradual the pace of Omnicron, it can’t forestall it,” the president mentioned. “However here is what it does: it provides us time. It provides us time to take extra actions; to maneuver faster — to ensure individuals perceive it’s a must to get your vaccine, it’s a must to get the shot, it’s a must to get the booster.”

The president urged these 18 and older who’re at the very least six months out from their second vaccine shot to get the booster. 

US-POLITICS-HEALTH-BIDEN
President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron variant within the Roosevelt Room of the White Home on November 29, 2021.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP through Getty Photos


“When you’re 18 years or over and received absolutely vaccinated earlier than June the primary, go get the booster shot at the moment,” the president pleaded. He additionally inspired individuals to put on masks in crowded indoor locations, whereas saying a return to stringent lockdowns is off the desk.

Mr. Biden’s remarks on the U.S. response to the Omicron variant observe a gathering the president held along with his COVID-19 Response Workforce upon his arrival on the White Home on Sunday. They met once more Monday morning. 

The World Well being Group deemed Omicron a “variant of concern” final week after South Africa reported the brand new pressure November 24. Its discovery despatched nations scrambling to mitigate the unfold of the variant, and the Biden administration rolled out restrictions on air journey from eight nations in southern Africa, which go into impact Monday.

Along with South Africa, the Omicron variant has been detected in at the very least 14 nations. The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention mentioned Friday that no circumstances of the brand new pressure have been recognized within the U.S. up to now, however Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former head of the Meals and Drug Administration, predicted Sunday in an interview with “Face the Nation” that the Omicron variant is “virtually positively” right here already.

Researchers in South Africa and all over the world are working to find out whether or not the Omicron variant is extra transmissible than different coronavirus strains, together with the Delta variant, in addition to whether or not it causes extra extreme illness than different variants. The World Well being Group mentioned it is usually working with companions to grasp the affect of the Omicron variant on the effectiveness of vaccines. 

Fauci advised “CBS Mornings” that it’ll take “perhaps a few weeks” to get extra information concerning the variant’s transmissibility and severity. He mentioned South African scientists report that the variant “seems to be spreading very readily” nevertheless it stays unclear whether or not these contaminated with Omicron develop extra extreme signs than these contaminated with different coronavirus strains.



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