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The new COVID-19 omicron variant is posing new risks for the American people as President Biden and his administration attempt to control the spread of a virus he vowed to “shut down” during the 2020 campaign.

The omicron variant, according to World Health Organization (WHO) officials, has a large number of mutations, “some of which are concerning.”

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the debt ceiling during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Washington. 

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the debt ceiling during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

On Friday, Biden restricted travel from South Africa and seven other countries over concerns of the “heavily mutated” variant, which has been identified in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.

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Earlier this week, prior to the implementation of the travel ban, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain boastfully touted Biden’s handling of the pandemic, telling anyone who “wants to have a debate about COVID” to “bring it on.”

Ron Klain, former White House Ebola response coordinator, speaks during a House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

Ron Klain, former White House Ebola response coordinator, speaks during a House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“Let’s be clear: the day we got here, 4000 people a day were dying and one percent of Americans were vaccinated. Today, deaths are down 75 percent, and almost 200 million Americans are fully vax’ed,” he said in a tweet. “We still have a LOT of work to do.”

“But if anyone wants to have a debate about COVID, bring it on,” Klain added.

According to Biden, he is taking advice on how to deal with the omicron variant from Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which recommended the newly established travel restrictions.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Biden, who was extremely critical of Trump’s travel restrictions into the United States due to fears over coronavirus, once claimed America “should lead the way with science” and insisted travel bans during a global pandemic are xenophobic.

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“We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus,” Biden wrote in a tweet during his presidential campaign last year following Trump imposed travel restrictions from China into the United States in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. “We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.”

Biden’s inability to “shut down” the virus has led to pandemic fatigue, which White House press secretary Jen Psaki attributed to Biden’s low approval ratings. Psaki said Americans are “tired of fighting” back against the coronavirus and its “impact on their lives.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House November 12, 2021 in Washington, DC.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House November 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Fauci said Saturday morning that he would “not be surprised” if the omicron variant had already found its way into the U.S., adding that the strain has a large number of mutations that would suggest it could potentially evade immune protection and that scientists can predict it will be more transmissible.

A number of pharmaceutical firms, including AstraZeneca, Moderna, Novavax and Pfizer, said they have plans in place to adapt their vaccines in light of the emergence of omicron.

The White House is continuing to urge Americans to get COVID booster shots  in order to help stem new variants.

Fox News’ Peter Aitken and Julia Musto, as well as the Associated Press, contributed to this article.

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https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-promised-shut-down-covid-omicron-challenges

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