Stephen Miller, a former White House advisor, claimed that if Donald Trump were still president, there would be updated COVID-19 vaccines to deal with the Omicron variant.
"If President Trump was still in office, we'd already have modified vaccines to deal with the new variant," Miller said.
The new variant of Omicron was detected in South Africa. It has spread to several other countries, including Israel and Belgium, prompting travel restrictions across Europe, Asia, and North America. Two cases of the variant have been found in the UK.
The variant has multiple changes that make it easier to evade the antibodies that developed after receiving a vaccine. The variant could spread easily among people who are vaccine free. The World Health Organization has labeled Omicron a "variant of concern-sars-cov-2-variant-of-concern" because of the numerous mutations. The last one to receive the label was Delta, the variant that surged all summer.
It's not clear if existing COVID-19 vaccines will protect against the variant. The vaccine manufacturers in the US are considering their options.
If Omicron is found to be resistant to its current vaccine, Pfizer will be able to make and distribute an updated version of its vaccine within 100 days.
The vaccines against COVID-19 were developed by the Trump administration. It took 11 months to get them out to the public.