Biden, Fauci repeatedly mispronounce new Omicron COVID variant

President Biden on Monday repeatedly mispronounced Omicron as he claimed he was on top of the potentially more contagious COVID-19 variant — before wishing reporters a “Merry Christmas” a month early.

“It’s called the Omni-cron,” Biden mangled the name during a speech in the White House Roosevelt Room, incorrectly uttering the Greek letter used to name the new variant.

“Travel restrictions can slow the speed of Omnicron. This cannot be prevented. But here’s what it does: It gives us time,” said Biden, who on Friday ordered travel restrictions on South Africa and seven neighboring countries.

“We’ve moved forward in the face of COVID-19 and moved forward in the face of the Delta variant. And we move forward now in the face of the Omnicron variant as well,” Biden said, repeating the mistake.

The president’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, also botched the name that was handed down last week by the World Health Organization. To land on Omicron the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s surname, Dr. Anthony Fauci, his chief medical adviser to the president of the WHO, controversially skipped the Greek letters Nu & Xi.

President Biden
Omicron was mispronounced by President Biden Monday as he said he was in control of the contagious COVID-19 variant.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Fauci pointed out that most of the US’s foreigners had to have been vaccinated by the end of the month and tested negative for the virus prior to boarding any flight to the USA.

“Even before Omnicron came in, we have a situation where we’ll be able to test,” Fauci said, mispronouncing the variant’s name.

Biden answered a few reporters’ questions during the event. This is unusual for Biden, a 79-year old commander in chief who usually answers only one to two questions per hour, as opposed to the lengthy, sometimes contentious access granted him by his predecessor.

Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci was also responsible for the name change that the World Health Organization made last week.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Biden read from the list prepared by his staff. When he called on “Alexis,” reporters asked him if he meant “Alex,” saying there were two women named Alex but no Alexis.

Alexes (from Reuters and The Associated Press) got a question.

Biden has more so than ex-President Donald Trump relied on pre-screened lists of reporters and his lack of familiarity with specific journalists was apparent — though Trump, too, on occasion confused reporter names.

Biden Fauci
Anthony Fauci (Right), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director and Chief Med Advisor to President Biden, addresses the audience about the Omicron COVID-19 variation.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Then, appearing to hint that he wouldn’t be available to the press much in the coming month, Biden wished reporters a merry Christmas.

“I hope you all have — I’ll be speaking before then — but a merry Christmas as we approach it,” Biden said, later adding, “I’m sure I’ll see you between now and Christmas, but hope you had a good Thanksgiving.”

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