United States President Joe Biden on Thursday detailed a new strategy that his administration will utilize in an attempt to mitigate the damage and threat of the coronavirus pandemic this coming winter but says that he was not going to expand vaccine mandates.

The Democratic leader said he did not want to enforce lockdowns that have also negatively impacted Americans and their livelihoods. Biden's new approach focuses heavily on increasing vaccination rates among United States residents who have been opposing the mandates. He also aims to provide booster shots to those who are eligible to get the shots.

New Coronavirus Strategy

But Biden's announcement stopped short of imposing new shutdowns on schools or businesses, putting them in an exemption list for now as he also tries to aid the country's economic recovery. "It doesn't involve shutdowns or lockdowns, but widespread vaccinations, and boosters, and testing, and a lot more," said Biden, CNN reported.

The United States president noted that while courts were reviewing his existing federal vaccination requirements, he would not be expanding them or adding new ones. Biden hoped that his new plan could get support from all Americans nationwide. The Democrat also said that it should get bipartisan support to help the country against the coronavirus pandemic.

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Instead of expanding mandates, the Biden administration hopes to increase booster shot inoculations by extending outreach. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will be responsible for contacting more than 60 million people who were under Medicare services. The list of people are mostly seniors and the contact is aimed at reminding them to get an additional shot.

The White House's newly announced plan comes after the United States has recorded at least two confirmed cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant. The new variant is thought to be highly contagious and was first discovered in South Africa and caused a surge in infections, CNBC reported.

Omicron Variant

Health officials in the United States and worldwide have become increasingly worried about the threat that the Omicron variant brings to the table due to having roughly 50 mutations. Some expect it to be more transmissible and vaccine-resistant compared to other variants.

Many European nations have already reintroduced restrictions to combat the Omicron variant, affecting public life. In Austria, officials have imposed a full lockdown, in the Netherlands, authorities are forcing businesses, such as restaurants, to close earlier, and German officials banned unvaccinated residents from most businesses, except for grocery stores, pharmacies, and bakeries.

Biden's new plan also aims to support hundreds of vaccination sites that prioritize families and new testing requirements for international travelers. The Democrat's administration will also provide free at-home tests, with the cost being covered by private insurers or are available at community health centers.

The administration's push for at-home testing is a subtle acknowledgment by Biden that his vaccine mandates are not enough to fight the coronavirus pandemic on its own. For months, experts have argued that masks and testing are also essential in mitigating the spread of the virus, the New York Times reported.

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