President Biden opened his remarks on Monday about Omicron by crediting the "scientific community in South Africa" for its "transparency" in sharing information about the new variant with the rest of the world.
"To their credit, the scientific community in South Africa quickly notified the world of the emergence of this new variant," Biden said. "This kind of transparency is to be encouraged and applauded because it increases our ability to respond quickly to any new threats, and that's exactly what we did."
He said that the "very day the World Health Organization identified the new variant" the administration "took immediate steps to restrict travel from countries in southern Africa."
Biden said that while those restrictions "can slow the speed of Omicron, it cannot prevent it."
The President said that the restrictions give the US time "to take more actions, to move quicker, to make sure people understand you have to get your vaccine."
"Sooner or later, we'll see cases of the new variant here in the United States," Biden said.