WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Joe Biden says Americans do not need to panic, but need to do their part to prevent the omicron variant from doing real damage.
“We all want this to be over, but we’re still in it,” Biden said.
On Tuesday, Biden announced new steps the federal government is taking as omicron cases rise throughout the country.
“We’re prepared, we know more, we just have to stay focused,” the president said.
The president’s winter plan includes expanding hospital capacity, deploying additional medical personnel and supplies such as ventilators, and increased access to free testing and vaccines.
“I’ll be deploying hundreds more vaccinators and more sites to help get the booster shots in people’s arms,” Biden said.
The increased testing includes 500 billion at-home tests that will be distributed for free.
“And we’ll have websites where you can get them delivered to your home,” the president said.
Biden says only those not fully vaccinated, should be concerned about the omicron variant.
“You’re at a high risk of getting sick and if you get sick, you’re likely to spread it to others, including friends and family,” the president said.
“Vaccination is extremely important, but please don’t forget about getting a booster shot,” White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
Fauci says Americans can enjoy their holidays as planned but should be responsible.
“And avoid things that are really high risk, like very large congregations, social events with a hundred people or eighty people, where everybody is crowded together. That’s just not very prudent to do that right now,” Fauci said.
Both Fauci and the president want Americans to understand that the country is not back to where it was in March of 2020 because they know more about the virus and have the supplies to deal with it.