Faced with the Omicron variant, Joe Biden presents a new fight plan

Faced with the Omicron variant, Joe Biden presents a new plan of fight

MISE & Agrave; DAY

WASHINGTON | Dealing with winter and the Omicron variant, without further tensing an American population less and less convinced by its health management: this is the difficult equation that Joe Biden is trying to solve by presenting a new plan to fight COVID on Thursday -19. & nbsp;

“We are playing games,” said spokesperson Jen Psaki on Thursday. But in fact, the White House has not released any spectacular announcements, or binding on American citizens.

The Biden administration is relying more on strengthening existing arrangements, according to a document it circulated before the US president himself spoke on the matter.

Perhaps the most salient point is the strengthening of requirements for international travelers: from “the beginning of next week”, in addition to being vaccinated, they will have to present a negative test carried out in the day before departure. instead of three days earlier.

Inside the borders, the Biden administration is extending the mask-to-wear requirement on public transport until March 18, which was due to expire in January.

The White House also announces that the tests carried out at home will be reimbursed by private health insurance – according to terms that remain to be defined – and that the number of tests distributed free of charge will be doubled, to 50 million .

The big stake remains to develop vaccination for Joe Biden, who had promised before his election to stem the pandemic and to whom he was widely criticized for having proclaimed victory prematurely in early July, just before the Delta variant hit the country .

With less than 60% of Americans of all ages fully immunized, the White House must convince those who aren't to take the plunge, but also persuade those who are to get a booster dose, while encouraging parents. to vaccinate their children from the age of 5.

“All scenarios”

Joe Biden wants to launch “hundreds” of “family” vaccination clinics.

While the United States has so far detected two cases of the new variant Omicron, the White House assures that measures are taken to do faced with “all scenarios”, especially if it becomes necessary to modify existing vaccines or boosters.

The political stakes are huge for the Democrat, about a year away from the midterm legislative elections.

Joe Biden is unable to capitalize on the economic rebound in the United States, nor 'he fails to generate enthusiasm with gigantic investment plans.

His Republican opponents have repeatedly reminded him that the coronavirus continues to kill hundreds of Americans every day since its election.

More than 780,000 people have succumbed to COVID-19 in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University.

While an overwhelming majority of Americans trusted the 79-year-old Democrat to confront the pandemic during his election, the proportion has fallen sharply since the summer.

According to the Fivethirtyeight site, which aggregates polls, only 48% of Americans on December 1 supported the response of the Biden administration to the health crisis. & nbsp;

Asked about the political impact of the COVID response measures on Thursday, Jen Psaki said, “We have taken a number of steps which are not meant to be controversial or divisive but which can nonetheless be viewed as such. “

” Our main criterion is efficiency, “she assured.

The White House, which has a limited number of levers due to the very extensive powers of American states, has put in place vaccine obligations in public and private companies, which have sparked political outcry from Republicans, as well as counterattacks in court.

She has so far not made the politically risky decision to put in place testing or vaccine requirements for air travel to the interior of the United States. This even though the Biden administration strictly regulates the arrivals of international travelers and has just banned the entry of those from eight southern African countries altogether.

“Nothing is wrong.” is excluded, including for domestic journeys “, however assured Jen Psaki Thursday.

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