Biden, governors to meet as states brace for holiday omicron spike

Rising cases
snarled air travel over Christmas weekend as flight crews contracted the virus,
causing thousands of flight cancellations. Curtailed cruises and a lack of
widely available testing crimped other plans as the more transmissible variant
took hold.

US airlines
cancelled about 800 flights on Monday, with the fourth straight day of cancellations
reigniting concerns that omicron could hamper the economy heading into 2022.

infections are increasing, with 205,509 new infections reported on average each
day, a Reuters tally showed.

Governor John Bel Edwards on Sunday said hospitalisations in his state doubled
in one week as his health department urged caution ahead of New Year’s Day.

Dr Anthony
Fauci, the top US infectious disease official, on Monday urged people to avoid
large New Year’s gatherings to reduce the omicron-driven spike in cases.

officials have said people can safely gather with their families if they are
vaccinated, larger celebrations are riskier.

we are talking about a New Year’s Eve party … I would recommend strongly stay
away from that this year. There will be other years to do that, but not this
year,” Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, told CNN.

Fauci added
that he hoped the surging cases would subside in January but that more
infections overall could still overwhelm hospitals, especially in highly
unvaccinated areas.

really still need to be extremely careful,” he said separately on MSNBC.

Biden last
week announced reinforcements to bolster hospitals and testing, but some
healthcare experts say that effort is too little, too late.

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