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President Biden said on Monday that while travel restrictions on travelers from several southern African countries would slow the entry of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, “it cannot prevent it.”
“Sooner or later we will see cases,” he said in an address to the American people.
Biden added, “This variant is cause for concern – not cause for panic.”
He reiterated his advocacy for Americans to get vaccinated as a way to protect themselves against COVID-19.
“The best protection against this variant or any of the variants is to get the full shot and get a booster,” he said.
Biden said scientists did not believe additional measures would be needed to combat the new variant, but added that his administration was working with vaccine manufacturers to develop vaccines or boosters against omicron if needed.
He said he would also ask the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “to use the fastest process available without cutting corners for safety” to get such vaccines approved and put on the market. Marlet.
He said science adviser Dr Anthony Fauci believes current vaccines at least offer some protection against serious illness.
President rejected need for another lockdown to curb the spread of omicron
The president’s remarks came on the same day his administration’s new travel restrictions went into effect in response to the omicron variant.
“We are throwing everything we can against this virus,” Biden said.
Biden said COVID-19 cannot be defeated until the rest of the world is vaccinated, and he urged countries that have abundant vaccines to provide them to those that do not.
“The delta variants, and now the omicron variant, have all appeared elsewhere in the world. So we can’t stop until the world is vaccinated,” he said.
The president also rejected the need for another lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.
“If people are vaccinated and wear their masks, there is no need for containment,” he said.
When asked if he expected the spread and response to the new variant to be the “new normal,” Biden replied no and said he expects the new normal either “everyone ends up getting vaccinated” and with a booster, and to reduce the number of people who are not protected to “such a low degree that we are not seeing the spread of these viruses”.