The Delta variant of COVID-19 may be gone, but another variation of the virus has already taken its place.
This new variation, dubbed “Omicron” by World Health Organization officials, has reportedly sprouted up in South Africa in recent weeks, according to Fox News.
Because of this, on Friday, President Joe Biden announced his administration will be placing new travel restrictions on the country of South Africa.
Interestingly, many media members and prominent Democrats — including Biden himself — once insinuated that former President Donald Trump’s travel ban on China was racist.
Joe Biden vs. Joe Biden pic.twitter.com/3qsX4ooBU5
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) April 30, 2021
Despite this, the Biden administration will be implementing the new ban in accordance with advice given by Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“This morning I was briefed by my chief medical advisor, Dr. Tony Fauci, and the members of our COVID response team, about the Omicron variant, which is spreading through Southern Africa,” Biden said in a statement, according to Fox News.
“As a precautionary measure until we have more information, I am ordering additional air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries. These new restrictions will take effect on November 29.”
Biden then went on to double down on his typical vaccination rhetoric, suggesting pandemic restrictions will not end until the entire world is vaccinated.
“The news about this new variant should make clearer than ever why this pandemic will not end until we have global vaccinations,” Biden continued.
“I call on the nations gathering next week for the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting to meet the U.S. challenge to waive intellectual property protections for COVID vaccines, so these vaccines can be manufactured globally.”
The WHO announced its discovery of the new variant on Thursday, claiming it has more mutations than previous strains. Also, Omicron reportedly has the potential to evade antibodies.
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) November 25, 2021
The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution met today to review what is known about the #COVID19 variant B.1.1.529.
They advised WHO that it should be designated a Variant of Concern.
WHO has named it Omicron, in line with naming protocols https://t.co/bSbVas9yds pic.twitter.com/Gev1zIt1Ek
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) November 26, 2021
In addition to South Africa, the new variant has reportedly also been seen in Israel and Hong Kong.
Reportedly due to Omicron rearing its head, stocks began to tumble on Black Friday.
At one point, the Dow Jones was down between 900 and 1,000 points, or approximately 2.5 percent. Additionally, the S&P 500 fell by roughly 100 points, or about two percent, while the Nasdaq took a near 300-point dip, approximating a 3 percent loss.
Bloomberg reported that the oil industry wasn’t faring much better.
In West Texas, the price of oil fell to below 10 percent, coming out at about $70 per barrel, while global oil was down to a similar $75 per barrel.