News & Politics

Omicron Is Here! First Case of New Variant in U.S. Confirmed!

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

It was only a matter of time, but U.S. health officials have confirmed the nation’s first case of the xi omicron variant.

According to Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, the individual with the omicron variant was fully vaccinated and had just returned from traveling in South Africa to the San Francisco area on Nov. 22.

They tested positive on Nov 29.

“The individual is self quarantining and all close contacts have been contacted and all close contacts, thus far, have tested negative,” Fauci announced at a White House press briefing. “We feel good that this patient not only had mild symptoms but actually the symptoms appear to be improving.”

Related: Everything You Need to Know About the Omicron Variant…so Far

Joe Biden issued a travel ban with several African nations, which took effect on Monday, to slow the spread of the variant to the United States.

Right now, it is not entirely clear how transmissible this variant is or how severe. It will be interesting to see how the media will treat the variant’s arrival in the United States. Some argue there’s been an overreaction, and there may very well be. Panic over the omicron variant might be good for media ratings but is likely to take a toll on Biden’s approval ratings the same way that the delta variant did.