Biden pledges 500M free virus tests, urges Americans to get vaccinated

US President Biden urges millions of unvaccinated Americans to get shots, saying it’s their “patriotic duty” while castigating social media that “profited” from Covid vaccine misinformation.

President Biden says US may soon lift its travel ban on several southern African nations. (AP)

US President Joe Biden has warned millions of unvaccinated Americans they are putting themselves and loved ones at risk amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus sweeping the nation.

“If you’re not fully vaccinated, you have good reason to be concerned,” Biden said in a White House speech on Tuesday where he unveiled new plans to buy 500 million rapid Covid-19 tests to be distributed for free to Americans who request them in January.

Biden noted vaccinated people who get Covid-19 may get ill but they are protected from severe illness and death and they should feel comfortable celebrating Christmas and the holidays as they had planned.

His pleas are not political, he emphasised. He noted that former president Donald Trump has gotten his booster shot, and he said it’s Americans’ “patriotic duty” to get vaccinated.

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