Deep Dive (Dec. 2): Biden Announces Plan for Omicron

President Joe Biden laid out on Thursday his plan to fight the coronavirus this winter—specifically, the new variant Omicron. Boosters are the big push, and the CDC just strengthened its recommendation—from something those over 18 may get to something they should get—and the transportation mask mandate has been extended through March. The mandate requires travelers to wear masks on airplanes, buses, trains, and boats, as well as in airports and other transportation hubs. Biden first signed the order requiring masks for travelers shortly after taking office in January.

Biden is highlighting actions to strengthen our nation’s supply chains, as concerns grow that the Omicron variant may worsen the ongoing global crisis. On Wednesday, Biden touted his decision to allow West Coast ports to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to reduce congestion. Biden also praised the move by private sector port operators to eliminate fees for truck drivers picking up containers at night or on weekends, and allowing truckers to drive more hours when they’re transporting gas, food, and medical supplies.

Cyberattacks are on the rise. A ransomware attack on Planned Parenthood exposes 400,000 patients’ personal data. This comes as suspected Chinese hackers breach more U.S. defense and tech firms. In November, cybersecurity researchers at Palo Alto Networks revealed one U.S. organization was hacked. Now, they say the breach includes at least five victims in the United States. Palo Alto Networks says the hackers stole passwords to gain long-term access to these organizations’ networks, and they warn more breaches are likely coming.

Tune into Deep Dive as we explore these topics and more.

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