SIMON KENT Get vaccinated, get your booster shots, and prepare for a grim winter ahead if you defy official instructions. That is the message President Joe Biden will deliver Tuesday when he addresses the nation on the latest government plan to counter the surging coronavirus omicron variant.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Saturday previewed the pre-Christmas speech on Twitter, noting a “stark warning” for unvaccinated Americans is coming.
She said the president will announce new steps his administration is taking “to help communities in need of assistance.” The additional action builds on the government’s winter plan that includes increased testing and encouraging booster shots for adults, she said.
“We are prepared for the rising case levels,” she said.
The U.S. has seen a rise in cases since late November, according to the New York Times’ coronavirus tracker. As of Dec. 17, the daily case average was nearly 126,000, up from about 86,500 at the beginning of the month.
Government health officials in the Biden administration have discussed shifting the White House’s messaging to focus the public mind on severe instead of overall cases as the pandemic drags on, reports CNN.
“It’s not about cases. It’s about severity,” Xavier Becerra, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, told reporters this week, as the government appears to forewarn of more crackdowns to come.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that COVID protocols may become “more restrictive” with the Omicron variant.
The president warned 24-hours earlier that those who won’t get vaccinated will experience a grim time ahead, as Breitbart News reported.
“For unvaccinated: We are looking at a winter of severe illness and death, if you’re unvaccinated,” Biden said. “For themselves, their family, and the hospital they’ll soon overwhelm.”