Biden says the Omicron strain is a cause for concern
The Omicron coronavirus strain is a cause for concern, but not a cause for panic. U.S. President Joe Biden said this on Monday in a speech at the White House on the pandemic situation.
“This strain is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic,” he said. “We have the best vaccines in the world, the best medicine, the best scientists. We will fight and defeat this new variant of the coronavirus,” Biden added.
U.S. authorities do not yet believe new vaccines are needed to fight the omicron strain. “It will be several weeks before we know everything we need to know about how much protection existing vaccines offer against the new variant of the coronavirus. Our medical team believes that the vaccines will continue to provide the necessary level of protection against the severe course of the disease. As additional protection, please wear masks,” he said.
“In the event, hopefully unlikely, that updated vaccines or boosters are needed to respond to this new strain, we will accelerate their development,” Biden added, stressing that the U.S. administration “does not yet believe that new measures will be needed .
Joe Biden said he does not yet foresee the need for any new restrictions on entry into the U.S. because of the Omicron strain. “The magnitude of the spread affects whether there is a need for any restrictions on entry. But I don’t foresee it at this point. And we’ll see how the situation plays out,” he said in response to a question from reporters.
He was asked whether U.S. authorities were ruling out a lockdown at this point. “Yes, for now,” he replied. The president was asked to explain why the administration thinks so. “Because if people are vaccinated and wear masks, there’s no need for lockdowns,” Biden replied.