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

  • President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 variant named omicron in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Monday in Washington, as Dr. Anthony Fauci listens. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden called the new coronavirus variant omicron a cause for concern but “not a cause for panic” Monday and said he was not considering any widespread U.S. lockdown. He urged Americans anew to get fully vaccinated, including booster shots, and return to face masks indoors in public settings to slow any spread.