US President Joe Biden says some US hospitals could be “overrun” by COVID cases, but the country is generally well prepared to meet the latest surge and Americans need not panic.
In a virtual meeting hosted by the White House with several state governors and top health advisors, Biden stresses that the rapid spread of the Omicron variant would not have the same impact as the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 or the Delta surge this year.
“Omicron is a source of concern, but it should not be a source of panic,” he says.
“Because there have been so many vaccinations and boosters, we’re not seeing hospitalizations rising as much as they did previously,” he says. “Americans, America have made progress. Things are better.”
But “with the rising cases, we still have tens of millions of unvaccinated people and we’re seeing hospitalizations rise,” he says. There are “hospitals in some places that are going to be overrun both in terms of equipment and staff.”