The White House and United States President Joe Biden (Inset)

White House unveils fresh plans to contain Omicron strain, protect Americans

*United States President Joe Biden says his country ‘has come far in its fight against the virus, and is more prepared than ever to deal with the challenges of COVID-19’, including a return to masking up on airlines and public transportation, and getting vaccine booster shots

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Resolute in keeping the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) under control, United States (US) President Joe Biden has announced new strategies with ‘nine essentials’ to combat the lingering, damaging Coronavirus in the American economy.

ConsumerConnect reports President Biden noted that in view of the lessons the developed country has learned over the past year, and the strides made in vaccine productions, he is confident about the success of his plans in this regard.

However, the US President warns that Americans need to remain vigilant in connection with the Omicron variant.

Biden said in a statement: “The United States has come far in its fight against the virus, and is more prepared than ever to deal with the challenges of COVID-19.

“We have the public health tools we need to continue to fight this virus without shutting down our schools and businesses.

“As we head into winter, today, the President will announce actions to provide additional protection to Americans and fight the Omicron and Delta variants, while keeping our economy growing.”

What are in Biden’s new plans against Omicron?

The White House stated that Biden’s plan contains nine essentials that his team has disclosed will keep the latest variant at bay.

These include: Boosters for all adults. The White House said the Biden administration would build on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated guidance recommending that every adult get a booster.

As a snappy preview of what Americans can expect, the White House said the new steps would also “ensure that the nearly 100 million eligible Americans who have not yet gotten their booster shot, get one as soon as possible.”

Others action plans include vaccinations to protect our kids and keep our schools open. With 99% of schools across the country fully open and holding in-person classes, Biden wants to get that part of his agenda over the finish line as soon as possible.

To keep those schools open and get more kids aged five and older vaccinated, hundreds of family vaccination clinics will be launched to get the whole family vaccinated or boosted in a single “trusted and convenient” location.

Expanding free at-home testing for Americans. Biden wants to ensure that Americans have greater access to at-home testing.

For those who aren’t covered by private health insurance, arrangements are being made to distribute free at-home tests at 20,000 sites around the country.

Stronger public health protocols for safe international travel. Travellers who enjoyed the recent lifting of international travel requirements should feel lucky because two things are about to be reversed.

ConsumerConnect also reports beginning early this week, the US will tighten pre-departure testing protocols by requiring inbound international travellers to test within one day of departure, regardless of nationality or vaccination status.


Everyone will have to mask up during international or other public travel – as well as in transportation hubs such as airports or indoor bus terminals.

Those rules are scheduled to last through at least March 18. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is also adding a bit of a punch to those who don’t follow that rule. The regulatory agency plans to double fines for non-compliance from a minimum of $500. Repeat offenders could face fines of up to $3,000, report stated.

Protections in workplaces to keep our economy open. President Biden is not laying down any new mandates, but he is calling on businesses to continue to move forward expeditiously on requiring workers to get vaccinated or tested weekly.

Rapid response teams to help battle rising cases. If pandemic conditions start to turn ugly because of the Omicron variant, the White House said it’s prepared to deploy additional COVID-19 Surge Response Teams to address critical needs on the ground. Those plans include allowances for more personnel, therapeutics, and technical expertise.

Supplying treatment pills to help prevent hospitalisations and death. The President is ensuring that if and when any new COVID-19 treatment pills have been found to meet the FDA’s scientific standards, they will be made equitably accessible to all Americans, regardless of their income or where they live.

Continued commitment to global vaccination efforts. To help other countries out, the US will be donating 1.2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses.

The Joe Biden administration is also pledging to deliver 200 million more doses in the next 100 days:

According to the White House, the above are all steps to ensure that the United States Government is prepared for all scenarios.

Additionally, in view of the fact that full effects of what the COVID-19 Omicron variant can do are still emerging, the statement said that President Biden noted he would deploy every available source necessary to keep the strain from spinning out of control in the country.

The President added that his administration is working closely with the Executives at Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson in order to develop contingency plans for other vaccinations or boosters in the US.

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