He admitted that the highly transmissible Omicron variant, which was the most dominant COVID in the country on Monday, was raising concern just as travel begins at almost pre-pandemic levels this holiday season.
Biden stated, "If you aren't fully vaccinated you should be worried." "Almost all those who have died from COVID-19 over the past few months were unvaccinated." Unvaccinated."
Unvaccinated Americans were told by he that "you're putting others at risk -- your loved ones and your neighbors as well as strangers." You may believe you are only putting yourself at risk. It's up to you. It's not about you. It affects others. Your actions can put others at risk. You are putting yourself, your loved ones, friends, neighbors, and strangers at risk. Your choice could make the difference between life and death. He said that the more the virus is present, the more likely it is for variants to form that are even worse than those that were before.
The message for vaccinated Americans was very different. Biden encouraged family time.
He said, "If you're vaccinated and take the precautions we all know well, then you can enjoy Christmas and the holidays exactly as you planned."
He also admitted the risk of more breakthrough cases in the coming weeks and months, due to omicron’s many mutations that can escape vaccine protections.
"Because the omicron spreads easily, we'll be seeing some fully vaccinated individuals get COVID. He said that there will be positive cases at every office, including here at the White House, among those who have been vaccinated.
These cases are unlikely to cause serious illness. People who have been vaccinated against COVID might become ill but are protected from serious illness and death. You should be vigilant.
The president refuted the notion that the U.S. would revert to March 2020 or impose additional lockdowns.
"Getting fully vaccinated is the best thing. Get your booster shot. 200 million people have been fully vaccinated. We're prepared. We are more informed. "We just need to keep our eyes on the prize," Biden stated.
Biden mentioned this week that ex-President Donald Trump had received his booster shot as part of his push to get uneasy Americans vaccinated.
Biden stated, "Maybe one the few things that he and me agree on."
He also gave Trump's administration his approval on vaccine development.
Biden stated, "Let's be clear, America was among the first to receive the vaccine thanks to our previous administration and our scientific communities." We led a rollout that placed America among the top world leaders in getting shots. This was thanks to the hard work of Americans and my administration.
Biden's latest efforts in omicron: more testing and support for strained hospitals
Biden will send free, at-home rapid testing via mail to Americans who request it. This is a slight departure from European countries which sent tests to all residents.
The tests will be requested by Americans through a website which will launch in January. It's unclear how many tests Americans can request per household.
This is a marked departure from White House's position two weeks ago when Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, dismissed the idea that every American should be sent tests by mail.
"Shouldn't we just send one to each American?" Psaki spoke to a reporter Dec. 6.
What happens if each American has one test? What does it cost? And what happens afterwards? Psaki stated.
The effort shows that the White House is united in its desire to improve the nation’s testing system, which was hampered by a perfect storm of pre-holiday testing demand and an influx of omicron cases.
Americans are facing long lines and empty shelves as they try to gather safely for the holidays, in accordance with CDC guidance. Families should use at-home rapid testing to add an additional layer of prevention.
Biden answered questions following his remarks and denied suggestions that the tests were not available ahead of the holidays.
"No, it's no failure, but the alarm went off. He said that nobody could have predicted how quickly this would spread.
Experts have warned for years that new variants of omicron are constantly in the pipeline. Many have called on the Biden administration since the discovery of omicron last month to abandon a strategy that focuses solely on vaccination and to increase other preventive measures such as testing or mandates for masks.
Scientists have warned for over a year about the possibility of new variants. We've known about Omicron since before Thanksgiving. It's been several weeks," Dr. Sam Scarpino (managing director of pathogen surveillance at Rockefeller Foundation, and member of their Pandemic Prevention Institute) said.
Biden also spoke Tuesday about other initiatives, including the creation of federal testing sites across the country, the first few of which will be launched in New York City before Christmas, and the mobilization and deployments for 1,000 military nurses and doctors to relieve overburdened hospitals.
The military aid will be five-fold the current deployment, which could provide a huge boost for hospitals that have struggled to survive for more than two years.