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New variant cause for concern, not panic, Biden tells US

<i>Alex Wong/Getty Images</i><br/>President Biden announced the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve of the Department of Energy to combat high energy prices which are at a seven-year high across the nation prior to the holiday travel season.
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Alex Wong/Getty Images
President Biden announced the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve of the Department of Energy to combat high energy prices which are at a seven-year high across the nation prior to the holiday travel season.

By ZEKE MILLER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is urging Americans to get vaccinated, including booster shots, as he seeks to quell concerns over the newly identified coronavirus variant named omicron. But he said Monday he won't be seeking any severe business or other widespread lockdown.

The new variant is “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic,” the president said in televised remarks from the White House.

He was accompanied by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert. Fauci says there are as yet no cases of the variant identified in the U.S. but it is “inevitable” that it will make its way into the country.

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The Associated Press

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