Biden predicts 'winter of death' for unvaxxed
US President Joe Biden urged all Americans to receive booster shots and warned of a winter full of “severe illness and death” for those who remain unvaccinated amid the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
“If you’re vaccinated and have your booster shot, you’re protected from severe illness and death,” Biden said on Thursday, in brief remarks to the press as he met with his Covid-19 coordination team at the White House.
“Due to the steps we’ve taken, Omicron has not spread as fast as it could have otherwise done,” Biden added, “but it’s here now and it’s spreading and it’s gonna increase.”
We are looking at a winter of severe illness and death for the unvaccinated.
The White House responded to the discovery of the variant – designated Omicron by the World Health Organization in late November – by banning travelers from eight African countries where it was first detected.
The ban went into effect on November 29. The first US case of the Omicron contagion was detected two days later in California, in a traveler who returned from South Africa on November 22. As of Wednesday, 36 US states have reported cases of Omicron, which was said to amount to 3% of total infections across the country.
Health authorities across the world consider Omicron to be far more transmissible than the Delta variant, blamed for the spike in US coronavirus deaths this year. Data suggests that its symptoms are much milder, however.