President Joe Biden on Tuesday urged state and local leaders to use federal relief money to make sure that schools can remain open, even as the highly contagious omicron variant is leading to record case counts and rising hospitalization rates for patients with COVID-19.
“We have no reason to think at this point that omicron is worse for children than previous variants,” he said in remarks from the White House, before a briefing from his COVID-19 response team. “We know that our kids can be safe when in school, by the way. That’s why I believe schools should remain open.”
Biden noted that Congress appropriated $130 billion to states and localilites in the American Rescue Plan he signed into office last January “to keep our students safe and schools open.”
“That money went to states,” Biden said. “I encourage the states and school districts to use the fund ing that you still have to protect your children and keep the schools open.”
The president also said that children ages 12-15 would soon be able to get booster vaccination shots following approval by the Food and Drug Administration on Monday.