Biden urges concern, not alarm as omicron rises

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is urging concern but not alarm as the U.S. sets new records for daily reported COVID-19 cases and his administration struggles to ease concerns about testing shortages. Biden spoke from the White House about the surging omicron variant Tuesday ahead of a meeting with his COVID-19 response team. He is looking both to convey his administration’s urgency and also to convince wary Americans that the current surge bears little resemblance to the onset of the pandemic or last year’s deadly winter.

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Biden emphasized anew that vaccines, booster shots and therapeutic drugs have mitigated the danger for the overwhelming majority of Americans who are fully vaccinated.