Biden may require Americans to be vaccinated to travel around the country
U.S. President Joe Biden said he would require Americans to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for domestic travel if a White House panel on the spread of the new coronavirus advised such action.
He was asked when he would decide to require residents to be vaccinated for domestic travel. “When I get the appropriate recommendations from my medical team,” Biden noted.
The idea of a mandatory coronavirus vaccination for domestic travel has been discussed in the Washington administration for months, and the spread of the omicron strain has prompted the White House to revisit the need for such requirements. Late last month, White House press secretary Jen Psaki, when asked about mandatory vaccinations for domestic airline passengers, said Biden was not ruling out any options, but he would rely on health experts.
Earlier, the U.S. federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised estimates of the national spread of the omicron strain of coronavirus, lowering them significantly. Last week, the CDC released statistics showing that 73.2 percent of new cases of coronavirus infection in the United States in the week ending Dec. 18 were linked to the omicron strain. On that basis, the regulator reported that the Omicron variant had become dominant in the U.S. The data updated Tuesday lowered the proportion of infections with the omicron strain during that period to 22.5 percent, with the delta strain remaining dominant at the time, accounting for 77 percent of infections, according to the CDC.
In the United States as a whole, Johns Hopkins University estimates that the number of cases has already reached 53 million and that 820,000 people have died. In the past four weeks, more than 4.35 million people have been infected and more than 38,500 have died. The country continues to rank first in the world for these two indicators.