US President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday more federal vaccination and testing sites to tackle a surge in Covid-19 driven by the Omicron variant and said 500 million free at-home rapid tests will be available to Americans starting in January.
Biden offered both a warning to the unvaccinated, who he said have “good reason to be concerned” and reassurance that those who are inoculated can gather for the holidays despite the new variant sweeping the country.
“No this is not March of 2020,” Biden told reporters at the White House. “Two hundred million people are fully vaccinated, we’re prepared, we know more.”
Biden’s remarks came as some cities and states imposed new measures aimed at protecting the public, including stricter vaccine mandates.
Striking a dire tone about the risks to the one-in-four American adults who are not fully vaccinated, US President Joe Biden said they “have a significantly higher risk of ending up in the hospital or even dying.”
Biden noted that former President Donald Trump has also received his booster shot. “Maybe one of the few things he and I agree on,” he said.
The measures laid out on Tuesday include activating new pop-up vaccination clinics run by the and federal testing sites starting this week, including in hot spot New York City.
Biden also said that some 1,000 military doctors, nurses and medics have been deployed to support hospitals already being overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients in some areas.