In a press conference on Friday morning, President Joe Biden was questioned by media about a potential softening on the administration's efforts to "shut down" the virus in the United States.
"So on COVID policy, it seems like the administration is starting to soften some of the language. There's this new op ed, where you talk about COVID and 'we're going to beat it back.' Are you no longer going to shut it down?" Fox News' Peter Doocy asked.
"We got to beat it back before we shut it down. Look, it's going to take time worldwide. In order to beat COVID, we have to shut it down worldwide. In the United States of America we're doing everything that needs to be done to take care of the American people within our borders," replied Biden.
"We are going to fight COVID-19 not with shutdowns or lockdowns – but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more. We will beat it back with science and speed, not chaos and confusion – just as we did in the spring and again with the more powerful delta variant in the summer and fall," Biden wrote.
In the piece, he outlined his six-step plan for the winter. This includes booster shots, free testing, an increase in surge response teams, making new medicines widely available, plans to keep kids in schools, and an effort to combat the virus worldwide.
As part of the worldwide effort to beat the pandemic, Biden outlines plans to ship more vaccines globally.
"In order to beat this pandemic at home, we have to beat this pandemic globally," wrote Biden. "COVID-19 and the delta and omicron variants have all emerged in other parts of the world before coming here. We must vaccinate the world and strengthen international travel rules for people coming into the US."
"We have already shipped for free 280 million vaccines – more vaccines to other countries than all other countries combined," he continued. "We will accelerate the delivery of more vaccines – 200 million more doses in the next 100 days. And, all international travelers entering the U.S. must test within one day of departure. This tighter testing timeline will help slow the spread of the virus."
"We've been doing everything we can to beat this virus. And, that’s what we have to keep doing. We can and we must come together as a nation to fight this virus, to protect one another, to protect our economic recovery. We moved forward in the face of COVID-19 and the delta variant. And, we will move forward now at the start of winter and in the face of the omicron variant – together," Biden concluded.
As part of his presidential campaign in 2020, Biden promised American voters that he would "shut down the virus, not the country."
"I'm going to shut down the virus, not the country. It's his ineptitude that caused the country to have to shut down in large part," Biden said, referring to former President Donald Trump's handling of the pandemic in its early days.
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