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Federal officials bracing for first detection of Omicron coronavirus variant in the US

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Federal officials bracing for first detection of Omicron coronavirus variant in the US

Officials briefed President Joe Biden for approximately 45 minutes Sunday on the new variant, with a heavy dose of caution about what's still unknown.

Federal health officials are bracing for the first cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant to be detected in the US and say there are likely far more cases worldwide than is currently known.

Officials briefed President Joe Biden for approximately 45 minutes Sunday on the new variant, with a heavy dose of caution about what's still unknown. Biden on Monday will provide a public update following a third briefing on the Omicron variant and plans to tell the American people directly what the government does and doesn't know, according to a person familiar with the remarks.

Biden's speech will be more of a reassurance not to panic as scientists evaluate the threat than a specific update on the variant itself. He's expected to push Americans to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and promote booster shots for those who are already full vaccinated.

Biden's team told him it will likely take one to two weeks to know more about the variant, including whether antibodies handle it effectively. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently sequencing coronavirus genomes and working closely with state health officials, two steps that will be critical to figuring out if the variant is already in the US.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

The-CNN-Wire

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