President Joe Biden reportedly plans to make a major speech on Tuesday, which will include an announcement of new COVID-19 measures to address the "new phase of the pandemic" but also "a stark warning" to unvaccinated Americans.
The president's speech is slated to be "on the status of the country's fight against COVID-19, as the country sees rising cases amid the growing Omicron variant."
Biden is expected to go beyond the White House's already-unveiled "Winter Plan" with additional steps to help communities in need of assistance amid the spread of the Omicron variant, a White House official told NBC News on Saturday.
Aides said the Biden administration is "prepared for the rising case levels" and that the president intends to explain how his team "will respond to this challenge."
According to the NBC News source, Biden will also issue "a stark warning of what the winter will look like for Americans that choose to remain unvaccinated."
According to the NBC News report Saturday:
"Biden has been receiving additional Covid briefings from his medical experts," and "aides say he has told his team the message to the American public must be direct because of concerns that the omicron's more transmissible variant is expected to spread quickly, putting unvaccinated people at a higher risk while also posing a threat to those who have some level of inoculation."
The expected move comes despite the Omicron variant of COVID-19 appearing to be "less severe" than other strains of the coronavirus. "In fact, it might be, and I underscore might be, less severe as shown by the ratio of hospitalizations per number of new cases," Dr. Anthony Fauci said earlier in the month.
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