President Joe Biden laid out his plan to fight the Omicron variant of the coronavirus as the number of cases continues to rise. President Biden said that those who are vaccinated can safely enjoy the holidays.
“If you are vaccinated and follow the precautions that we know well, you should feel comfortable celebrating the Christmas holiday as you planned it. You know you’ve done the right thing. Enjoy the holiday season,” Biden said.
He then urged those who are fully vaccinated to get a booster shot to ensure they are protected against the Omicron variant.
“The answer is simple: Get your booster shot. Wear a mask. Our doctors made it clear, booster shots provide the strongest protection,” he said. “Unfortunately, we still have tens of millions of people who are eligible for the booster shot who have not yet gotten it.”
President Biden then urged those who have not gotten vaccinated to get their shots to ensure they are protected.
“You’re at a high risk of getting sick. And if you get sick, you’re likely to spread it to others, including friends and family,” he said, adding that they have a “good reason to be concerned” heading into the winter months.
Biden also announced a plan to send out 500 million at-home test kits. The tests can be requested online and will be available next month. The exact details of the program are still being finalized. He also said that the federal government will be setting up testing sites in areas that “need additional testing capacity.”
To help hospitals that are dealing with an influx of patients due to the recent surge in cases, Biden said he is directing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist by building out overflow operations. In addition, the Defense Department will deploy 1,000 military service members, including those who are doctors, nurses, and medics, to help ease staffing shortages.
“As we head into the holidays, I want us to all keep the faith. I want to sincerely thank you for your perseverance, your courage, your countless acts of kindness, love, and sacrifice during these last two years. Throughout our history, we have been tested as a people and as a nation. Through war and turmoil, we had to ask whether we would be safe, whether we would be okay. Whether we can get back to who we are. We have always endured because remember: there is no challenge too big for America.”