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Biden tells governors next steps to fight pandemic are at the state level

President Biden speaks as Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) looks on during a video call with the White House covid-19 response team and the National Governors Association in the South Court Auditorium at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Dec. 27 in Washington. (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post)
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The next steps in fighting the coronavirus pandemic have to be taken at the state level, President Biden told a group of governors Monday.

“Look, there is no federal solution,” he said after joining the White House covid-19 response team’s regular call with the National Governors Association on Monday. “This gets solved at the state level.”

In his first public remarks about the pandemic after Christmas, Biden sought to highlight what his administration is doing to respond to the omicron variant outbreak that is sweeping the United States and the world. The president pointed out that the availability of vaccines has left Americans in a much safer place today than at the beginning of the pandemic.

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Virus-related absences among airline staff — as well as winter storms in the West — are continuing to disrupt holiday travel plans, with more than 1,000 flights canceled Sunday in the United States.
The Military Bowl, Sun Bowl and Fenway Bowl are the latest college football bowl games to be canceled because of outbreaks on teams, as the NCAA confronts the surge with ad hoc protocols.
After nearly two years of collective trauma, the pandemic is pushing many people to a breaking point, fueling a slew of public outbursts.


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Coronavirus: What you need to know

Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot designed to target both the original virus and the omicron variant. Here’s some guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.

Variants: Instead of a single new Greek letter variant, a group of immune-evading omicron spinoffs are popping up all over the world. Any dominant variant will likely knock out monoclonal antibodies, targeted drugs that can be used as a treatment or to protect immunocompromised people.

Tripledemic: Hospitals are overwhelmed by a combination of respiratory illnesses, staffing shortages and nursing home closures. And experts believe the problem will deteriorate further in coming months. Here’s how to tell the difference between RSV, the flu and covid-19.

Guidance: CDC guidelines have been confusing — if you get covid, here’s how to tell when you’re no longer contagious. We’ve also created a guide to help you decide when to keep wearing face coverings.

Where do things stand? See the latest coronavirus numbers in the U.S. and across the world. In the U.S., pandemic trends have shifted and now White people are more likely to die from covid than Black people. Nearly nine out of 10 covid deaths are people over the age 65.

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