New variant cause for ‘concern, not panic,’ Biden tells US

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is urging Americans to get vaccinated, including booster shots, as he seeks to quell concerns over the newly identified COVID-19 variant named omicron. But he said Monday he won’t be seeking any severe business or other widespread lockdown.

The new variant is “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic,” the president said in televised remarks from the White House. He was accompanied by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.

Fauci said Monday that there are as yet no cases of the variant identified in the U.S. but that it is “inevitable” that it will make its way into the country.