US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy called the Supreme Court's decision to block a nationwide vaccine and testing mandate for large businesses, "disappointing."
"As a doctor and a public health professional today's news was disappointing," Murthy told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "We know that the requirements for vaccines in workplaces are an important part of how we can keep workplaces safer, for both workers as well as for customers."
Murthy said he expects the next few weeks to be "challenging" before the nation puts the pandemic in its rearview mirror.
"I think the next few weeks are going to be challenging. We are going to continue to see high numbers of cases. Our hospital systems in parts of the country are strained and that will continue," he said.
The best course of action, Murthy said, is to stay diligent, and take all the proven measures that keep people safe and protected, not only against the Omicron variant but also in the event of the emergence of further harmful Covid-19 strands.
"The bottom line is, Wolf, there are a lot of curveballs that this virus has thrown at us. We've got to continue to do everything we can to invest, not just in vaccines and boosters... but also expand the supply of therapeutics... expand the supply of testing, to make masks actually more available to the public," Murthy said.
"These are parts of the strategies that we have been working on... to make sure that we not only get through this wave of Omicron but also that we're prepared for any new variants that may come our way."