•   
  •   
  •   

Politics Biden faces new political threat in omicron

02:30  30 november  2021
02:30  30 november  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Omicron Variant: Germany, Czech Republic Report Suspected Cases After U.K. Confirmation

  Omicron Variant: Germany, Czech Republic Report Suspected Cases After U.K. Confirmation Several countries, including the U.S., Japan and Israel, have announced travel restrictions to avoid the mass spread of the latest COVID variant.Germany's Hessian Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration said Saturday that an individual who traveled to Germany from South Africa is suspected to be infected with the Omicron variant.

US President Joe Biden has called the Omicron Covid variant a "cause for concern, not a cause for panic" one day after it was detected in North America. Cases have been found in Canada, and his speech from the White House comes as US travel bans on eight African countries takes effect. In his remarks, Mr Biden said that the ban had bought some time for the US to study the new strain. While the World Health Organization has deemed Omicron a "variant of concern", it is still not clear whether it is associated with more transmission or more risk of evading vaccines.

Biden to fast-track vaccine development should Omicron require it. “In the event, hopefully unlikely, that updated vaccinations or boosters are needed to respond to this new variant, we will accelerate their development and deployment with every available tool. “We do not yet believe that additional “A year ago, America was floundering against the first variant of Covid,” Biden continued. “We beat that variant significantly, and then we got hit by a far more powerful threat , the Delta variant. But we took action and now we’re seeing deaths from Delta come down. “Look, we’re going to fight and beat this new variant

The White House on Monday was dealing with the latest and most serious threat yet to President Biden's pledge to "shut down" the coronavirus: a new variant that experts worry is easily spread and could elude vaccines.

Biden faces new political threat in omicron © Associated Press/Evan Vucci Biden faces new political threat in omicron

While experts cautioned that much remains unknown about the omicron variant, travel restrictions have quickly been reimposed to limit its spread, and the government on Monday stepped up calls for people to get booster shots to maximize protections.

For Biden, whose faltering poll numbers have left Democrats openly worried they could lose their House and Senate majorities next year, the variant adds to an already difficult political climate fueled by inflation and goods shortages exacerbated by supply chain problems.

Scotland Officials Concerned Omicron Variant Has Community Spread as 6 Cases Confirmed

  Scotland Officials Concerned Omicron Variant Has Community Spread as 6 Cases Confirmed Countries throughout the world are taking action to prevent a proliferation of the variant as scientists are still working to determine the danger it poses. Some nations like Japan have decided to block any foreign visitors in an effort to stop the highly mutated variant from entering its borders even as cases began popping up around the globe, AP reported.For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.New cases in Portugal and Scotland might already point toward local spread of the variant outside of southern Africa.

President Joe Biden on Monday urged Americans to get vaccinated or get their booster shots amid warnings about the spread of the Omicron variant – but insisted that the infectious new variant was not a cause for 'panic' and said no new restrictions were needed. 'We'll fight this variant with scientific and knowledgeable actions and speed Omicron , which was first identified in South Africa but is thought to have originated in Botswana, is the most-mutated form of Covid yet found and has been declared a 'variant of concern' by the WHO because early data suggests it is more infectious than the Delta strain.

President Biden called the new Omicron coronavirus variant “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic,” and urged Americans to get vaccinations and booster shots. The variant has not yet been detected in the United States. The very day the World Health Organization identified the new variant, I took immediate steps to restrict travel from countries in Southern Africa. We’ll have to face this new threat just as we faced those that come before it. This variant is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic.

Republicans seized on omicron as fuel for their attacks that Biden has failed to contain the pandemic, while Biden appeared before the cameras to reassure the public of his leadership on the central issue of his presidency.

"This variant is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic," Biden said. "We have the best vaccine in the world, the best medicines, the best scientists, and we're learning more every single day. And we'll fight this variant with scientific and knowledgeable actions and speed, not chaos and confusion."

Those final words served as a reminder to those watching of the Trump administration, which was widely criticized for its handling of the coronavirus.

Through the first six months of Biden's presidency, his handling of the pandemic was a clear strength after the tumultuous year in which Trump presided over the pandemic, a period that culminated with Trump getting a serious case of the disease.

Americans face at least 2 weeks of uncertainty as scientists work to answer 3 key questions about the new Omicron variant

  Americans face at least 2 weeks of uncertainty as scientists work to answer 3 key questions about the new Omicron variant Americans face at least two weeks of uncertainty before major questions may get answered about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. © Steve Pfost/Newsday/Getty Images Stony Brook, N.Y.: Robert Baird, of Centereach, New York is given a booster shot as members of the community are administered the COVID-19 vaccination and booster at Stony Brook University Research and Development Park in Stony Brook, New York on Nov. 17, 2021.

A reporter called President Joe Biden a "fraud" for the latest travel restrictions as the US brace for a new COVID-19 variant dubbed Omicron .

More than a year removed from Biden 's promise to eradicate COVID, cases of the virus are spiking once again, and Biden has even enacted a new travel ban to eight African countries amid fear that the new " Omicron " variant could lead to another wave of cases. Biden , then, has not ended the pandemic, nor has his administration implemented a plan to stop the pandemic like he promised. Meanwhile, ABC News deputy political director Averi Harper warned the " omicron variant could pose a significant threat " to the Biden administration's progress in enacting its agenda.

The tide has since turned on Biden, however, with cases and deaths of the coronavirus rising over the summer despite vaccines. Republicans have taken to highlighting how there have been more U.S. deaths from COVID-19 this year than the previous year.

"Biden failed to shut down the virus as he promised," Republican National Committee spokeswoman Emma Vaughn said in a Monday statement.

Those deaths were mostly fueled by an epidemic among the unvaccinated, a minority that has refused to take vaccines despite repeated pushes by Biden. Democrats have also noted that some Republicans have effectively sabotaged a pandemic recovery by casting doubt on vaccines and other restrictions that might lower the spread of the disease. Yet it is unclear whether those Republican politicians - or Biden and Democrats - will be the ones punished by voters in 2022 and beyond.

Health experts agree that the pathway out of the pandemic is through vaccination, but Biden's sweeping coronavirus vaccine mandate for businesses is being held up in court and faces an uncertain future.

Couple Arrested After Leaving Quarantine, Boarding Flight Following South Africa Vacation

  Couple Arrested After Leaving Quarantine, Boarding Flight Following South Africa Vacation Sixty-one passengers on South African flights tested positive for COVID-19 at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Thirteen of them are said to have the Omicron variant.Caroline Pimenta had a layover in Amsterdam on Friday with her husband, Andres Sanz, and was put in a hotel for mandatory isolation after she tested positive after vacationing in Cape Town, the couple told TV3.

Dean Obeidallah writes the new Omicron variant presents President Joe Biden the opportunity to show his leadership skills in the face of yet another crisis. Biden must be clear in his messages to the American public, and make sure to put science at the forefront of the response.

Biden , returning to Washington following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, was briefed in person by his coronavirus response team on Sunday afternoon as officials expect the new variant to reach the United States despite an impending ban on travelers from Southern Africa, where it was first detected. Fauci and other top officials said the sudden burst of cases made Omicron worrisome and it remained unclear how current vaccines or therapeutics could be impacted. "We need more data there before we can say confidently that this is not a severe version of the virus, but we should find that out

On Monday, a federal court temporarily halted Biden's mandate for health workers at hospitals that receive federal funding in 10 states that sued to block the administration's November rule, arguing that the mandate would lead to staff shortages.

Meanwhile, fatigue from the nearly two year pandemic has set in for many Americans, making Biden's challenge all the more difficult.

"We're going to deal with this for a while and I think [Biden] has to tell Americans there is no definitive end," said Basil Smikle, Democratic strategist and director of Hunter College's public policy program. "This comes in phases."

"He needs to be able to say that this is how we weather these fluctuations and give us instructions about how we move forward," he said.

White House officials blame Biden's sinking poll numbers on public weariness with the pandemic.

Yet they also argue the country is undeniably in a better position now than when Trump was in charge. A majority of Americans are now vaccinated and there has been real progress in developing treatments.

Face masks again mandatory in England amid variant spread

  Face masks again mandatory in England amid variant spread LONDON (AP) — New measures to combat the new omicron variant of coronavirus came into force in England Tuesday, with face coverings again compulsory in shops and on public transport. From Tuesday morning, all travelers returning to the U.K. must also take a PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. Previously they had been able to take a lateral flow test and there was no requirement to isolate. The reintroduction ofFrom Tuesday morning, all travelers returning to the U.K. must also take a PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. Previously they had been able to take a lateral flow test and there was no requirement to isolate.

On the economic front, there has been a drastic decline in unemployment claims and the economy is creating jobs, despite the real problems of the supply chain and inflation.

Part of the challenge for Biden is the expectation game, which might have been worsened by the partial victory lap he took on July 4, just as the more contagious delta variant was beginning to spread in the U.S. Omicron is now another threat to the expectations from voters that Biden will move the country beyond the coronavirus.

"It was kind of short sighted and foolish because it raised expectations when we were nowhere near the end of the pandemic," said Lawrence Gostin, a public health law professor at Georgetown University. "And what the omicron variant shows us is that we're a long way out until this becomes simply an endemic disease that we tolerate and manage."

Gostin said Biden needs to set expectations with a simple message: "America is in for a long road and that the only way that we can protect ourselves is to vaccinate everyone in America and everyone abroad, beginning with America first."

One former Trump administration official who worked on the pandemic response suggested the Biden administration was caught flat-footed at the outset of the delta variant surge. They argued the aggressive response to omicron could be an overcorrection amid bad poll numbers.

New Poll Shows That Concern About Omicron Variant Is Split Down Party Lines

  New Poll Shows That Concern About Omicron Variant Is Split Down Party Lines Democrats were more than twice as likely as Republicans to agree that the Omicron COVID-19 variant "poses a serious risk to all Americans."A poll released on Tuesday by YouGov found that Democrats were much more likely to be concerned about the new variant than Republicans. Although 80 percent of Democrats said they were "somewhat concerned" or "very concerned" about Omicron, only 35 percent of Republicans agreed.

Experts have said it will likely take at least a couple of weeks before more is known about the omicron strain and how effective vaccines are in preventing serious illness. Biden, who has sought to distinguish himself from his predecessor by offering a more aggressive response to the pandemic along with a more cohesive vaccine distribution and embracing the advice of health experts, will visit the National Institutes of Health later this week.

A Washington Post-ABC poll released earlier this month illustrated how the public's view of Biden's handling of the pandemic has steadily declined over the past six months.

An April poll found 64 percent of the public approved of Biden's work on the pandemic, but a poll conducted Nov. 7-10 found just 47 percent gave Biden positive marks on that issue. That decline aligns with a broader dip in his overall approval rating.

The pandemic could become yet another front where the White House has to play defense heading into the midterms as Biden and his team rebuff attacks from Republicans over inflation, immigration, employment and government spending.

"The masks and vaccination polarization is going to deepen if this mutation, this variant, starts to move through our population more significantly," said Smikle. "It will just renew all of those tensions going into the midterms."

Fauci Says COVID Could Be Controlled Not Eliminated With Vaccines Amid Omicron Spread .
"Better control is what I think we need to look for and then we can get back to some form of normality to our lives," Dr. Anthony Fauci said."I don't think there's a chance you're going to eradicate this because we've only eradicated one virus for humans in history and that was smallpox. Elimination is tough," he said on Friday during a TV appearance with Neil Cavuto on Fox Business Network. "I'm not so sure we're going to be able to do that, at least not in the near future. That's aspirational.

usr: 2
This is interesting!