Biden Vows Schools and Businesses Will Remain Open in Omicron Speech

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President Joe Biden vowed Tuesday to not impose lockdowns on schools and businesses this winter as part of his response to the Omicron variant.

Omicron is now believed to be the prominent strain of the CCP virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, in the United States.

In an address Dec. 21, the president said that while the new variant is expected to increase the number of COVID-19 cases nationally among both vaccinated and unvaccinated populations in the coming weeks, the federal government will not order any new lockdowns.

“Another question folks are asking is are we going back to March 2020,” Biden said. “The answer is absolutely no.”

In 2020, while President Donald Trump was in office, governors across the country imposed strict lockdown measures to try to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Biden cited the nation’s vaccination rate and the federal stockpile of personal protective equipment for hospitals as reasons to not lockdown this winter.

“Last year we thought the only way to keep children safe was to close your schools,” said Biden. “Today we know more, and we have more resources to keep those schools open.”

He added: “Today we don’t have to shut down schools because of a case of COVID-19. Now if a student tests positives other students can take the test and stay in the classroom if they’re not infected rather than closing the whole school or having to quarantine.”

Biden also used part of his speech to applaud a recent victory in federal appeals court for his vaccine mandate—a rule through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to require all employers with 100 or more employees to require proof of vaccination or weekly negative tests of all employees.

“These rules are going to help keep workers safe, and keeping workers safe will help keep businesses open,” he said, maintaining the rule is legal and effective despite being “unpopular.”

By Nick Ciolino

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