President Biden warns of ‘severe illness and death’ for the unvaccinated this winter
President Biden said Thursday that Americans unvaccinated against the coronavirus are facing a winter of “severe illness and death.”
I want to send a direct message to the American people: Due to the steps we’ve taken Omicron has not yet spread as fast as it would have otherwise done,” Biden said in remarks at the White House following his Covid-19 briefing Thursday.
“But it’s here now and it’s spreading and it’s gonna increase. … We are looking at a winter of severe illness and death for the unvaccinated — for themselves, their families and the hospitals they’ll soon overwhelm. But there’s good news: If you’re vaccinated and you have your booster shot, you’re protected from severe illness and death,” the President added.
Biden also called on individuals to get vaccinated to protect the country’s economic recovery. “We’re gonna protect our economic recovery. If we do this, we’re gonna keep schools and businesses open … and I want to see everyone around enjoy that. I want to see them enjoy the fact that they’re able to be in school, that businesses are open and the holidays are coming,” he continued [CNN].
As of Wednesday, about 1 in 6 people in the US are fully vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19. The CDC’s predicted increase in Covid-19 deaths would bring total deaths for the pandemic to 837,000 to 845,000 people by January 8.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday that she expected reports of omicron cases in the U.S. to increase in the coming days.
Omicron has been detected in at least 36 states and agency data based on national genomic sequencing analysis shows the omicron variant is estimated to represent around 3% of coronavirus cases in the U.S., including higher estimates in New York and New Jersey [FOX News].