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Biden to deliver speech on Tuesday on omicron variant as Covid cases rise

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U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at the Medals of Honor ceremony in Washington, December 16, 2021.
Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

President Joe Biden will deliver a speech on Tuesday addressing the omicron variant and unveil new steps the administration is taking to help communities in need of assistance, a White House official told NBC News on Saturday.

Biden is expected to go beyond his already unveiled “Winter Plan” with additional measures while “issuing a stark warning of what the winter will look like for Americans that choose to remain unvaccinated,” the official said.

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The news comes amid a rise in Covid-19 cases and pleas from federal health officials to get vaccinated.

Aides said the president’s administration is “prepared for the rising case levels” and that Biden intends to explain how his team “will respond to this challenge,” the official said.

Biden has been receiving additional Covid briefings from his medical experts. Aides say he has told his team the message to the American public must be direct because of concerns that the omicron’s more transmissible variant is expected to spread quickly, putting unvaccinated people at a higher risk while also posing a threat to those who have some level of inoculation.

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