Congress and President Joe Biden have so far been reluctant to give more stimulus checks. However, the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, may necessitate the need for additional coronavirus stimulus checks. Biden has already called the new virus variant a “worrying concern”.
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Will Omicron lead to additional coronavirus checks?
Omicron is the latest COVID-19 variant scientists have recently identified. This variant was first identified in South Africa and the WHO (World Health Organization) has identified it as a concern as it may be more transmissible than previous strains of COVID-19.
While more information about this new variant is expected, early evidence suggests it may be even more contagious and spread even faster than the delta variant. Such concerns about this new variant have already given global financial markets the jitters.
Several countries, including the US, have already announced precautions to slow the spread of Omicron. In response to the threat from Omicron, Biden has already suspended travel from South Africa.
dr. Anthony Fauci, the US expert on infectious diseases, also expressed concern about the new variant, saying people should be prepared to do “anything and everything” to slow the spread of this new variant. While Fauci doesn’t support lockdowns as of now, he did say Americans should “prepare for the worst.”
Even Biden sees no need for new lockdowns from now on “when people get vaccinated and wear their masks.”
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell also believes the new variant could pose a risk to the economy.
“Increased concerns about the virus could reduce people’s willingness to work personally, which would slow progress in the labor market and amplify supply chain disruptions,” Powell said before his Senate testimony earlier this week.
People Demanding More Stimulus Controls
Omicron poses no threat for now, but if it becomes one and authorities roll out more restrictions, it could slow the economic recovery and revenues for businesses. Such a scenario may necessitate the need for an additional coronavirus stimulus check.
Meanwhile, several Americans have already started calling for more stimulus controls from Omicron.
“Omicron?!?!?! I think this requires a new stimulus check,” said one Twitter user.
Even before Omicron, people demanded more stimulus controls. A Change.org petition calling for regular stimulus checks throughout the pandemic has already garnered nearly 3 million signatures.
People may be demanding more stimulus payments, but only time will tell whether Omicron will force Biden to send out another coronavirus stimulus check or not.
So far, Congress has sent three stimulus checks since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two stimulus checks were sent out last year under Donald Trump and one under Biden this year. Biden also expanded the child discount and the way people receive it.