Biden says the COVID-19 Omicron variant is “cause for concern, not cause for panic”

Washington – President Biden on Monday urged Americans to remain calm as scientists work to determine the strength and transferability of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus that says the United States has the ability to handle the new strain circulating the globe.

The president, flanked by chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and Vice President Kamala Harris, told the nation that the variant is a “cause for concern, not a cause for panic.” He said the United States has more tools at its disposal combat COVID-19 than ever before and is in a much better position to fight the virus than it was in March 2020 or even December 2020. The president said he will release a more detailed strategy on Thursday to fight COVID-19 and the Omicron variant in the coming weeks.

“Sooner or later we will see cases of this new variant here in the United States,” he said. “We will have to face this new threat, just as we faced those who have come before it.”

Biden says Omicron “not a cause for panic”


The Biden administration imposed travel restrictions on those coming from eight countries in southern Africa from Monday. Mr. Biden said the restrictions are necessary to give Americans more time to prepare for the variant by getting the vaccine or a booster shot.

“While we have travel restrictions that can slow down Omicron’s speed, it can not stop it,” the president said. “But here’s what it does: it gives us time. It gives us time to take more action; to move faster – to make sure people understand that you need to get your vaccine, you need to get shot, you need to get the booster. “

The president urged those 18 years and older, who are at least six months out of their second vaccine shot, to get the booster.

President Biden will comment on the Omicron variant in the Roosevelt White House on November 29, 2021.

MANDEL NGAN / AFP via Getty Images

“If you are 18 years of age or older and have been fully vaccinated before the first of June, take a booster syringe today,” the president pleaded. He also urged people to wear masks in crowded indoor places, while saying a return to strict lockdowns is off the table.

Sir. Biden’s remarks about the U.S. response to the Omicron variant follow a meeting the president held with his COVID-19 response team when he arrived at the White House on Sunday. They met again Monday morning.

The World Health Organization considered Omicron a “concern variant” last week after South Africa reported on the new strain on 24 November. Its discovery prompted countries to struggle to mitigate the spread of the variant, and the Biden administration rolled out restrictions on flights from eight nations in southern Africa, which take effect on Monday.

In addition to South Africa, the Omicron variant has been detected in at least 14 countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that no case of the new strain has been identified in the United States so far, but Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former head of the Food and Drug Administration, predicted Sunday in an interview with CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that the Omicron variant “almost certainly” is already here.

Researchers in South Africa and around the world are working to determine if the Omicron variant is more transmissible than other coronavirus strains, including the Delta variant, as well as whether it causes more serious disease than other variants. The World Health Organization said it is also working with partners to understand the impact of the Omicron variant on the effectiveness of vaccines.

Fauci told “CBS Mornings” that it will take “maybe a few weeks” to get more data on the variant’s transferability and severity. He said South African researchers report that the variant “appears to spread very easily”, but it is still unclear whether those infected with Omicron develop more severe symptoms than those infected with other coronavirus. originates.


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