Biden Is Slammed For Waiting Until TUESDAY To Announce New COVID Measures As Omicron Cases Double Over 24 HOURS: White House Scrambles After Harris Admission They ‘Did Not See Variant Coming’

  • President Joe Biden was criticized for deciding to wait until Tuesday to announce new Covid measures to fight the rapidly-spreading Omicron variant as cases double in the past 24 hours
  • The speech will build on his ‘Winter Plan’ and address booster shots, lockdowns and mask mandates
  • It comes after Kamala Harris admitted the administration was not properly prepared for the variant and appeared to blame scientists before the White House went into damage control to spin the claims
  • Health officials have also advised the president to focus on severe cases rather than overall infections and publicly about living with the virus as a part of everyday life
  • The number of confirmed Omicron cases in the US has nearly doubled in a period of 24 hours, with the variant confirmed in all but six states – Oklahoma, Montana, the Dakotas, Indiana and Vermont
  • New York is the epicenter of the variant outbreak and overall new cases there hit a daily record on Saturday at 29,908 – breaking its previous record of 21,027 set just one day earlier
  • WHO warns that Omicron spreads in communities at a rate that doubles cases every 1.5 to 3 days
  • Europe is moving towards new restrictions with Netherlands planning national hard lockdown from Sunday
  • But Mayor Bill de Blasio vows to hold New Year’s Eve party in Times Square on the final day of his term despite New Yorkers struggling to find Covid-19 tests as the city suffers a surge of infections driven by Omicron
  • Surge in demand has stretched the city’s testing capacity to the limit, with wait times of more than two hours

By SHANNON THALER and RONNY REYES FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

President Joe Biden’s decision to wait until Tuesday to address his plan to combat the rapidly spreading COVID Omicron variant has been met with incredulity as many criticized his apparent lack of urgency while he spends the weekend in Delaware.

It comes after Vice President Kamala Harris admitted on Friday that the administration was not prepared for the variant as cases doubled over the past 24 hours, with all but six states confirming cases, stoking fears of shutdowns similar to the ones in 2020.

Some have claimed that waiting till next week to outline a plan against Omicron is not a proactive move for a president who famously vowed to ‘shut down the virus.’

Mark Knoller, a former CBS White House correspondent, tweeted, ‘If the Pres has something urgent to say about Covid, why wait until Tuesday?’

Bob Wacheter, the chair of Department of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco, also warned about the dangers of Omicron, specifically in New York City after a friend who had gotten three jabs went to a holiday party at the Big Apple last week.

‘Today he tested pos. Feels flu-ish but luckily nothing worse. [Omicron’s] a different foe – treat it w/ respect.’

Erin Sanders, a biologist who’s worked on COVID research since the pandemic began, urged Biden and Harris to act quickly.

‘#Omicron doubles in 2 days. Time is everything. @POTUS @ VP please we cannot wait. Do not sit in your ivory tower and watch the country burn,’ Sanders tweeted.

Bree Newsome, a North Carolina community leader, said Biden needed to act quickly to curb the Omicron surge.

‘Cases will have doubled by the time Biden makes his planned speech on COVID Tuesday. That’s how fast this thing is moving,’ Newsome wrote on Twitter.

Alison Goldberg, a therapist and supporter of COVID protocols who’s dealt with patients’ anxiety and depression during the pandemic, also expressed her frustration with Biden’s lack of urgency.

‘Biden wants us to wait until Tuesday so he can tell us to get [vaccinated], that this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and to ensure that no school closures unvaccinated kids who are exposed to covid can stay in class as long as they test. No urgency.’

The surge in the U.S. echoes what has already been seen across Europe as world leaders scramble to address Omicron.

The United Kingdom, which has also been ravaged by the variant, saw more than 10,000 new cases on Saturday, confirming nearly 25,000 cases of Omicron, which has been detected in 89 countries so far.

Dutch health experts are advising the Netherlands to impose a hard national lockdown before Christmas, and the country is expected to close all but essential stores from Sunday, sending panicked shoppers flocking to round up last-minute gifts before the restrictions descend.

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