“This gets solved at the state level,” Biden said at a meeting on Dec. 27 with the National Governors Association (NGA), and the White House COVID-19 response team. “It ultimately gets down to where the rubber meets the road and that’s where the patient is in need of help or preventing the need for help.”
He continues to refer to the recently emerged Omicron variant as a source for concern, not a source for panic.
The nation has seen an uptick of COVID cases in recent weeks among both vaccinated and unvaccinated populations as a result of the variant, which is now the dominant strain of COVID in the United States.
Biden, who had vowed during the 2020 campaign to “beat the virus” and “get it under control,” also continues to assert that the nation isn’t in the same place it was in March 2020, when the pandemic began. He, along with federal health officials, continues to tout vaccines as being effective protection from hospitalization and death from COVID.
In recent days, Biden has moved to increase the number of vaccine sites around the nation and increased spending on COVID tests by $3 billion.
He conceded on Dec. 27 that it was still “tough” for some folks to get a COVID test over the Christmas weekend. saying there’s “still more work to do.”
Biden also referenced the federal stockpile of personal protective equipment and expressed concern over a rise in hospitalizations, saying the federal government is “prepared.”
Following the president’s public comments, the group discussed a range of topics, including the latest science on the Omicron variant, the use and distribution of COVID-19 treatments, expanding federal partnerships and resources on testing, and keeping the nation’s schools open, according to a White House readout of the meeting.
Following the meeting, Biden told reporters the bipartisan group of governors didn’t “tell me they’re worried, but they thanked me for the cooperation they’re getting. They said they’ve gotten all that they need. They just want to know what we think is going to happen from here.”
Biden added there were questions from governors for White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci about new rules around domestic air flights.
Fauci has said recently the U.S. government should consider vaccine requirements for domestic air travel.