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White House Coordinator Plays Blame Game: 'Unvaccinated Looking at Winter of Severe Illness and Death'

White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients is facing criticism for what's being called an angry jab at unvaccinated Americans.

In the latest COVID Task Force briefing, Zients praised vaccinated Americans, saying the goal is to protect their jobs and schools. "We are intent on not letting Omicron disrupt work and school for the vaccinated. You've done the right thing, and we will get through this," he said.

Then he shifted to a bleak blame game, telling unvaccinated Americans they're going to inundate U.S. hospitals and die. "For the unvaccinated, you're looking at a winter of severe illness and death for yourselves, your families, and the hospitals you may soon overwhelm," Zients said.

Numerous Twitter users are calling Zients' comments "angry" and "divisive". Some even said they feel they're being threatened.

The White House says even though the new omicron variant can still infect those with the vaccine, their symptoms seem to be milder. 

CNN reports that's the case for three Democratic lawmakers who announced over the weekend they have contracted COVID despite being vaccinated and boosted. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) all tweeted their status, saying they're doing fine.

Moderna announced Monday that its booster shot significantly raises antibodies and is effective against the omicron variant. 

Health officials are predicting omicron will become the dominant variant in a few weeks. Dr. Fauci said omicron is spreading rapidly, saying, "It seems to be overtaking all the other variants, including Delta, with a doubling time of about two to three days."

Omicron is spreading to nearly all states. Studies show it could spread up to three times faster than delta with the risk of re-infection more than five times higher.

The nation is already experiencing a surge in delta cases. Hospital admissions are now up 41-percent nationwide. The NBA has canceled five games and the NFL postponed several due to COVID infections.
Meanwhile, Israel is adding the U.S. to a list of countries its citizens can't visit due to omicron. Monday, the cabinet also voted to include Canada and several European nations to its no-fly list.

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