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Joe Biden says US is prepared for Omicron variant
The recent emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has the world on alert for a new surge of cases. US President Joe Biden assured that the country was prepared for Omicron variant cases in his remarks this week.
Biden assured Americans Tuesday that the country was prepared to combat the Omicron coronavirus variant. The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has already made itself known in a dozen countries and is expected to be more infectious than previous strains. The emergence of the new variant has also led governments to reimpose restrictions.
The US leader announced new measures to tackle the surge in COVID-19 cases, including 500 million COVID-19 test kits Americans can use at home starting in January. Biden assured the public that the country would not go back to the situation in March of 2020 despite the new variant. Biden added that his administration would be deploying medical military personnel to hospitals, sending supplies to states that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic, and free testing sites.
The US will also be giving $580 million in aid to international organizations to fight COVID-19, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The latest data showed that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus made up 73.2 percent of new cases in the US over the previous week.
Biden also reiterated the importance of getting vaccinated while blasting those who still refuse to get inoculated. The US leader also commended his immediate predecessor Donald Trump for getting a booster shot in a rare moment of praise between the two presidents.
In other related news, Biden also announced an extension of the pause on student loan payments in the midst of calls to cancel out the student loans altogether.
“Today my administration is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments for an additional 90 days – through May 1, 2022 – as we manage the ongoing pandemic and further strengthen our economic recovery. Meanwhile, the Department of Education will continue working with borrowers to ensure they have the support they need to transition smoothly back into repayment and advance economic stability for their own households and for our nation,” said Biden in the statement released by the White House.