Psaki: Biden's Speech Won't be About Lockdowns White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a daily press briefing at the White House. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
By Solange Reyner | Monday, 20 December 2021 07:07 PM
White House press secretary says President Joe Biden’s speech Tuesday will focus on coronavirus vaccines and tests, not about “locking the country down.”
“This is a speech outlining and being direct and clear with the American people about the benefit of being vaccinated, the steps we’re going to take to increase access and to increase testing and the risks posed to unvaccinated individuals,” Psaki told reporters during her Monday press briefing.
When asked about the potential for a round of new shutdowns, Psaki replied: “We have no intention to [do that.]”
The president will say that “while vaccinated individuals get COVID due to the highly transmissibility nature of omicron, their cases will likely be mild or asymptomatic,” Psaki said.
“That is not trying to scare people, or maybe it is trying to make clear to people in the country what the risks are here of not being vaccinated,” she added.
“He’ll restate that we’re prepared and that fully vaccinated individuals have the tools to protect themselves with a booster shot and masking where CDC recommends,” she continued, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “For those who remain unvaccinated, he’ll issue a stark warning and make clear unvaccinated individuals will continue to drive hospitalizations and deaths.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, on Sunday said the omicron variant of COVID-19 spreads rapidly.
"It's going to take over," Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, urging Americans to get vaccinated and get their booster shots. "And be prudent in everything else you do: When you travel in your indoor settings that are congregated, wear a mask."
"We can't walk away from that, Jake, we can't," he told CNN's Jake Tapper. "Because with omicron, that we're dealing with, it is going to be a tough few weeks to months as we get deeper into the winter.”