President Joe Biden on Tuesday will make brief remarks addressing the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in the US and the steps his administration is taking to address it, according to the White House.
“The President will meet with his Covid-19 Response Team to receive an update on the Omicron variant and to discuss his administration’s response,” an official told CNN on Monday night.
“In the briefing, the President will hear about the latest resources and personnel being sent to states and local communities to help with staffing needs and hospital capacity Covid-19 treatments. He will also hear from the doctors about the latest data on the Omicron variant, including that while cases continue to increase, fully vaccinated and boosted Americans that get infected are not likely to have severe symptoms,” the official said. “In brief remarks, the President will address the American people on these updates, as well as the importance of continuing to use the tools we know protect the American people – vaccines, boosters and masking.”
Biden’s remarks come as his administration has yet to offer comprehensive details about his plan to distribute half a billion tests for free using a website. The administration is still in the procurement process, an official said, which decides which companies will supply the tests.
Health experts have warned that the nationwide shortage of rapid at-home tests is coming during a critical period for testing as the Omicron variant disrupts daily life.
Biden also had told reporters earlier Monday that he would address the change in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s isolation guidelines “later,” without offering any additional details.
The CDC has faced criticism from outside doctors because it did not include a recommendation to re-test at the end of the five-day window for isolating following a positive Covid-19 test result.
“I’ll be talking to you about that later,” Biden told CNN.