Biden says US response to Covid-19 ‘shouldn’t’ be a political issue


US President Joe Biden has said Covid-19 is a “divisive” issue in America but “shouldn’t” be, as the country prepares to step up its coronavirus mitigation measures for the winter.

Biden’s winter plan includes stepping up booster shots, getting children vaccinated, expanding free home tests, and tighter travel protocols [source: Getty]

US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that the US response to Covid-19 should not be politically divisive and that he hoped for bipartisan support for his plan to fight the pandemic over the winter.

“It’s a plan that I think should unite us,” he said, speaking from the National Institutes of Health headquarters in a Washington suburb.

“I know Covid-19 has been very divisive. In this country it has become a political issue … A sad, sad comment. It shouldn’t be, but it has been.”

Biden’s remarks come as the Omicron variant, first reported in South Africa last week, continued to spread around the world.

Two cases have so far been reported in the United States – the second involving a man from Minnesota with no recent history of international travel, signaling that the strain is already circulating inside the country.

The man, who was also fully vaccinated and given a booster, exhibited mild symptoms which have since disappeared, local health officials said.

Biden’s winter plan includes increasing booster shots for all adults, getting children vaccinated, expanding free home tests and tighter travel protocols.

Travel measures will include a requirement for anyone arriving in the United States to take a test within one day of their flight.


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