WASHINGTON — President Biden returned to Delaware for the 31st time considering that taking business office Monday as the surging Omicron variant of COVID-19 dashed his options for a publish-Christmas vacation in Puerto Rico.
Biden will remain at his vacation residence in Rehoboth Beach front with first woman Jill Biden and new first puppy dog Commander.
The president invested Christmas at the White Household with his prolonged family and experienced prepared to pay a visit to Puerto Rico in a twist on a family members custom of celebrating New Year’s in the US Virgin Islands.
Biden generally spends the holiday on St. Croix or on H2o Island off St. Thomas at a property owned by his brother, Jim Biden.
The Omicron variant of the coronavirus, on the other hand, plunged the nation back again into crisis with file-high new bacterial infections in New York Metropolis, DC and other components of the nation, inspite of the too much to handle majority of Individuals staying vaccinated.
While preliminary details from other international locations indicates that symptoms from the Omicron variant may well be fewer extreme, hospitalization rates are increasing sharply in New York.
The new variant of COVID-19 was very first detected in late November in South Africa, prompting Biden to announce travel limitations impacting eight nations in southern Africa whilst he was expending a prolonged Thanksgiving weekend on Nantucket.
Biden has consistently expressed regret about not surging COVID-19 tests forward of Christmas, saying Monday morning that he’d have “gone more challenging, quicker” to distribute COVID-19 exams if he’d recognized the Omicron variant was heading to result in a surge of new infections.
But the president also denied a report that reported the White Property turned down the tips of a team of public health industry experts from Harvard, the Rockefeller Foundation and other groups who at an Oct. 22 conference urged administration officers to mass-distribute free of charge speedy checks to every family prior to Xmas.
“We did not reject it,” Biden instructed The Article on the White Property lawn as he departed for Delaware.
A person official who participated in the assembly, however, verified to Vainness Honest that the White Dwelling did reject the program, expressing, “We did not have capability to manufacture over-the-counter tests at that scale.” Biden very last week resolved to make 500 million at-dwelling exams readily available for immediate get from the federal governing administration, but the hold off means the initiative will not begin till January — just after the holiday getaway journey hurry and massive spouse and children gatherings.