President Joe Biden said Monday that coronavirus lockdowns were off the table “for now” as Americans face the emergence of the new omicron variant.
When asked by a reporter if coronavirus shutdowns were “off the table” Biden replied, “Yes, for now.”
The president said the difference between now and the original coronavirus lockdowns was the successful production and distribution of coronavirus vaccines.
“If people are vaccinated and wear their masks, there’s no need for the lockdown,” he said.
Biden said he would announce later in the week his strategy to fight the new variant, “not with shutdowns or lockdowns but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing, and more.”
He urged every American adult to get their coronavirus vaccine booster to help fight the new variant, even though it is unclear how much protection the vaccine would provide.
“Dr. Fauci believes that the current vaccines provide at least some protection against the new variant and the booster strengthen [sic] that protection significantly,” Biden said.
The president said his team was already working on contingency plans to update the vaccines to protect people from the Omicron variant.
He also urged Americans to get their children five years old or older vaccinated.
“If you and your family are fully vaccinated, you can celebrate the holidays much more safely,” he said.