The first case of Omicron, the newest Coronavirus variant, was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on November 24th by South Africa. The first positive sample was tested on November 9th but was not confirmed as a new variant. On December 1st, the WHO revealed that “at least 23 countries have now reported cases of Omicron” and that the number is only expected to grow from there. Then, it was revealed that a 24th country has confirmed Omicron cases – the U.S. President Joe Biden has decided to take action. The goal is to provide additional protection to Americans, while also allowing the economy to grow.
The first step President Biden is taking is the restriction of travel to and from the most impacted countries. This will provide more time for the U.S. to prepare for another wave of the coronavirus variant, and to study it. While time is needed, President Biden expects the U.S. to be more prepared with the recent handling of the Delta variant. Resources and tools are also much more accessible than before.
The next procedure in place is to supply the adult population of the U.S. with boosters; and start vaccinating children. Adult booster shots have been authorized and are now available to get. While vaccines for children older than 12 were available before, authorized vaccinations for children for ages 5 and above have recently been released. The booster shots are offered at over 80,000 locations nationwide, and the Biden Administration has made sure to keep the shots free and convenient, while urging adults who have been vaccinated to receive their booster shots. As for the children, vaccinations are recommended, as the Biden Administration believes the lack of in-person schooling will be a great downfall for students’ educations. Students should be able to learn safely beside their peers. The Biden Administration is placing in new safety measures on top of the pre-existing ones to help combat the spread of the new variant the Omicron.
Free vaccination and testing programs are being offered to businesses, to protect the progression of 5.6 million jobs added, unemployment claims falling 70%, and the rise of job applications to 30% above pre-pandemic average. As President Biden does not want any business to shut down this winter, the offer he has for businesses is to implement a program where either an employee gets vaccinated or receives a COVID-19 test every week. These steps to protect businesses and workers will help the economy keep going, especially during these hard times. The Biden Administration has no plans of revisiting the devastation of the economy the nation experienced last year.
Ultimately, President Biden and the Biden Administration are working hard to take action against a new coronavirus variant that the nation is facing: the Omicron. The actions that have been put in place are the restriction of traveling, supply of boosters and vaccinations, and the protection of businesses and the economy. These measures will hopefully help reduce the effect of the Omicron on both Americans and the economy.