White House previews Biden’s Omicron address: ‘Not a speech about lock…
President Joe Biden will speak about his administration’s efforts to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 on Tuesday, but his address will not be about new restrictions on business and public life, according to the White House.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, previewed some of the content of Mr Biden’s planned remarks during her press conference on Monday.
“This is not a speech about locking the country down,” she said of the remarks.
“The president will have more to say tomorrow about our efforts to expand access,” to Covid-19 testing and vaccines, she additional.
seemingly smarting from the blowback she received last week after mockingly answering a reporter who questioned whether the federal government could mail home testing kits to every American, Ms Psaki went on to tell a reporter that the administration was “always feel we need to be doing more.”” when asked if the US needed to enhance access to Covid-19 tests for everyday Americans.
The White House did not, however, back away from Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients’ words at a recent Covid-19 press briefing warning that unvaccinated Americans were facing a winter of “death” and overwhelmed hospitals as a consequence of their choices to avoid getting a vaccine.
On Tuesday, the president will once again remind Americans that unvaccinated individuals “will continue to excursion hospitalisations and deaths” given that the vaccine typically prevents the worst symptoms of Covid-19 that excursion sufferers to seek medical treatment.
“That is not trying to scare people — or maybe it is trying to make clear to people in the country what the risks are here of not being vaccinated,” said Ms Psaki.
The president’s team has faced sharp criticism from conservatives for that line of messaging, which they argue is not effective at convincing unvaccinated Americans to get their jabs while actively deepening divisions over the issue of Covid-19 vaccinations.
Many Democrats have pointed out in response that the assertion about unvaccinated Americans driving hospitalisations and deaths related to the virus is true, and that the rhetoric is a response to frustrations among vaccinated Americans about the speed of the US recovery from Covid-19 which they blame on a persistent minority who refuse to get the vaccine.
The US has seen more than 800,000 deaths from Covid-19 since the pandemic began; the recorded total is higher than any other country’s. Health experts have warned that the newest Omicron variant of Covid-19 is more transmissible than past iterations of the disease, but may consequence in slightly milder symptoms.
Concerns persist across the country about the availability of Covid-19 tests, in particular rapid-consequence tests, as many Americans are nevertheless being forced to choose between waiting several days for results that could end up being negative for the virus or going to work and other locations after being exposed or already while experiencing symptoms credited to the virus.
The Biden administration has remained adamant that it will not seek to reimplement major restrictions on public life in response to the new variant of Covid-19, and asserted that the availability of vaccines method that most Americans who want to take steps to avoid the virus can do so.
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