Joe Biden will provide an update on the US response to the emergence of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 later on Monday.
Biden flew back to Washington, DC, on Sunday, shortly before Canada announced it had discovered the first cases of the variant in North America.
Omicron, first discovered in Botswana, has been labeled a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization, with scientists fearing it could spread faster than previous versions, due to its more than 30 mutations.
“Omicron has an unprecedented number of peak mutations, some of which are of concern because of their potential impact on the trajectory of the pandemic,” the WHO said Friday.
President Biden, who spent the holiday weekend in Nantucket, Massachusetts, has announced targeted travel bans for countries in southern Africa and is expected to provide more details on the US response at a later date.
White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, has already confirmed that the US is preparing to adapt COVID-19 vaccines as needed.
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