White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that President Joe Biden’s speech on COVID-19 on Tuesday will not include a push for a lockdown over the spread of the Omicron version.
Psaki said Biden would issue “a stern warning” to those who have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccination. But the president, she said, would not be a push to shut down the version, which has caused some deaths around the world.
“This is not a speech about locking down the country,” Saki remarked.
While the World Health Organization has named omicron “a form of concern” because of its high transmission potential, officials in South Africa and New York City’s chief health commissioner have recently stated that hospitalizations can only occur as a result of the strain. There is an excerpt that was seen earlier in COVID. -19 waves.
The president has little leeway in enforcing the lockdown because Congress is the only entity that can regulate interstate commerce. However, if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer a recommendation for enforcing stay-at-home orders, some municipalities are likely to follow suit.
In the meantime, Biden will announce that the federal government will work to make vaccines and COVID-19 testing more available, Psaki said during Monday’s press conference.
Late last week, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Ziants said the federal government’s goal is “not to disrupt work and school.” The White House confirmed over the weekend that Biden would speak on those topics.
“Without vaccination, you’re looking at a cold of serious illness and death for yourself, your family, and hospitals you can soon be overwhelmed with,” Zints said.
A growing number of businesses, schools and other institutions have announced that they will close or implement other COVID-19 mandates due to the variant.
Organizers of Los Angeles’ New Year’s Eve party for the City of Los Angeles’ Grand Park say there will not be an individual audience. Instead, the event will be livestreamed, as was the case last year. In Rhode Island, a masking mandate took effect Monday for large retail stores and indoor venues such as churches that can hold 250 or more people.
Cases are rising in parts of the United States, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, although it is unclear which version is accelerating.
In New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio has claimed the new version is already “in full force,” a spike is spoiling Broadway shows and leading to long lines at testing centers, but not yet new hospitals. Recruitment and deaths are well below their spring 2020 peak.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.