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Biden’s Response To Omicron Covid Variant Underscores Best Practices For Managing A Crisis

President Joe Biden’s announcement today about the steps he took in response to the new Omicron Covid-19 variant underscores several best practices for responding to, communicating about and managing a crisis.

When You See Something, Do Something. And Don’t Wait To Do It.

After meeting this morning with Dr. Anthony Fauci and members of the White House Covid response team, Biden said that, “As a precautionary measure until we have more information, I am ordering additional air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries. These new restrictions will take effect on November 29. As we move forward, we will continue to be guided by what the science and my medical team advises.”

Keep Repeating Key Messages About The Crisis

Biden used the announcement as an opportunity to repeat two of his basic messages about the coronavirus crisis:  

  • “For Americans who are fully vaccinated against severe Covid illness – fortunately, for the vast majority of our adults — the best way to strengthen your protection is to get a booster shot, as soon as you are eligible.”
  • “For those not yet fully vaccinated: get vaccinated today. This includes both children and adults.”

Highlight What’s At Stake

Biden said in the statement that, “…,for the world community: the news about this new variant should make clearer than ever why this pandemic will not end until we have global vaccinations.

Remind People What You’ve Done — And What Needs To Be Done

“The United States has already donated more vaccines to other countries than every other country combined. It is time for other countries to match America’s speed and generosity,” Biden said.

Outline Next Steps

Biden said that, “I call on the nations gathering next week for the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting to meet the U.S. challenge to waive intellectual property protections for Covid vaccines, so these vaccines can be manufactured globally. I endorsed this position in April; this news today reiterates the importance of moving on this quickly.”

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