: Biden says fight against omicron variant of coronavirus won’t involve ‘shutdowns or lockdowns’
President Joe Biden on Monday promised Americans won’t have to deal with the types of lockdowns that some Europeans are facing, as he gave a speech on COVID-19 amid worldwide worries about the new omicron strain of the coronavirus.
As Biden said he expects later this week to roll out a new plan later for combating the pandemic, he said it wouldn’t involve shutdowns.
“On Thursday, I’ll be putting forward a detailed strategy outlining how we’re going to fight COVID this winter — not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more,” the president said during his brief speech at the White House.
The omicron strain, classified as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization, has dominated headlines in recent days, although experts have stressed that it would take at least a couple of weeks before it can be determined whether it is more transmissible or more lethal than earlier variants.
Related: Don’t expect U.S. to follow Europe with new COVID lockdown
And see: White House announces restrictions on travel from South Africa, 7 other countries due to omicron strain
U.S. stock benchmarks
traded higher Monday, following a steep selloff in Friday’s holiday-shortened session that analysts pinned on omicron fears.
“Look, we’re gonna fight and beat this new variant,” Biden declared in Monday’s speech, as he also said that the omicron strain “is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic.”
In addition, the president urged Americans to get their booster shots of the COVID vaccines, or get their first shots if they’re not already vaccinated, as well as take their children to be vaccinated.