Joe Biden Says Unvaccinated Face Winter Of Severe Illness, Death Amid Emergence Of Omicron Variant.

About 57 million Americans have received a booster shot on top of a regular vaccination. That provides the best protection from severe illness from omicron.


JOE BIDEN

US President Joe Biden warned that unvaccinated Americans face “a winter of severe illness and death" as he urged initial doses and booster shots amid a surge of coronavirus cases and the emergence of the omicron variant.


“It’s past time" to get shots, the president said Thursday following a briefing with his coronavirus team at the White House. “We’re going to protect our economic recovery if we do this. We’re going to keep our school and businesses open if we do this."

Infections have surged 40% over the past two weeks across the country, and deaths have increased by more than a third during that same period, with more than 1,300 Americans dying of coronavirus daily.


Some universities have already announced a move to online classes as case numbers have surged, while professional sports league and Broadway theaters have canceled games and performances.


Joe Biden maintained that the new, more contagious omicron variant had been slowed because of steps implemented by his administration. The U.S. instituted a travel ban on countries in southern Africa and has spent recent weeks encouraging Americans to get shots.


About 57 million Americans have received a booster shot on top of a regular vaccination. That provides the best protection from severe illness from omicron.


“But it’s here now and it’s spreading and it’s going to increase," Biden said, adding the virus would start to spread “much more rapidly."

The enters for Disease Control and Prevention said this week that omicron is already 3% of cases nationally, and an estimated 13% of cases in New York and New Jersey. It's doubling time is about two days, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said.


Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a Biden medical adviser, said Thursday that he expects it will become dominant over other variants, namely the delta variant, within a few weeks.


The killer T cells carry out search-and-destroy missions, poking holes in infected cells, bursting them open, and triggering reactions to bring inflammatory proteins known as 'cytokines' to the fight


CDC officials Thursday warned that the omicron variant could overwhelm hospital systems and that the U.S. could see an estimated 1.3 million cases by Christmas Day.


"Omicron is concerning, but the glass is still half-full -- it's not totally going to evade our responses," Wherry said.



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