What time is Joe Biden's speech today, Tuesday, January 4?

PRESIDENT Joe Biden is scheduled to speak on the spread of the omicron COVID-19 strain across the country on Tuesday, January 4 amid concerns of a holiday spike in cases.

Shortly before the holidays and the New Year, the Omicron variant had already become the dominant strain in the US.

What time is Joe Biden's speech today? 

Though there is no set time for the president’s speech, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will be discussing the latest advances in the Omicron variant with members of the White House COVID-19 Response Team at 2pm.

It is possible that the speech will come after this meeting.

“In the briefing,” said an official to CNN, “the President will hear about the latest resources and personnel being sent to states and local communities to help with staffing needs and hospital capacity Covid-19 treatments. 

“He will also hear from the doctors about the latest data on the Omicron variant, including that while cases continue to increase, fully vaccinated and boosted Americans that get infected are not likely to have severe symptoms," the official said. 

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"The President will address the American people on these updates, as well as the importance of continuing to use the tools we know [to] protect the American people – vaccines, boosters and masking."

What has Joe Biden said about the Omicron variant? 

In his previous speech about the newest COVID variant on November 29, 2021, Biden said that Omicron was “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic.”

"We have more tools to fight the variant than we have ever had before," he said. "It gives us time to take more action, to move quicker, to make sure people understand you have to get the vaccine," he said.

On November 26, 2021, Biden released a statement to the official White House website, advising those who are vaccinated to get their booster shots as soon as they’re eligible and for those who have not been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible.

He also wrote: “Finally, for the world community: the news about this new variant should make clearer than ever why this pandemic will not end until we have global vaccinations.

"The United States has already donated more vaccines to other countries than every other country combined. It is time for other countries to match America’s speed and generosity.”   

Will the US go into another lockdown?

Biden hopes to lay forth a "detailed strategy" on how the government will combat COVID-19, he said in his last speech.

"Not with shutdowns or lockdowns," he said. "But with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more."

Chief medical advisor to the president Anthony Fauci said on ABC’s This Week that the omicron variant continues to rage around the world, but he doesn’t foresee a potential lockdown in the U.S.

“I don’t see that in the future if we do the things that we’re talking about,” Fauci said on ABC on December 19, 2021.

“The thing that continues to be very troublesome to me and my public health colleagues is the fact that we still have 50 million people in the country who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not vaccinated,” he said.

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