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Biden: 'Schools should remain open' despite Omicron surge

President Biden delivered remarks Tuesday on the Omicron-led COVID-19 surge tearing its way through the country, and appeared to draw a line in the sand regarding the issue likely on most parents' minds.

"We have no reason to think at this point that Omicron is worse for children than previous variants," Biden said. "We know that our kids can be safe when in school ... that's why I believe schools should remain open."

At the same time, Biden urged parents to vaccinate their kids where eligible, and to vaccinate themselves if they hadn't already, saying, "This continues to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated, so we've got to make more progress."

The president also on Tuesday announced the federal government is doubling its order of Pfizer's COVID-19 antiviral pill "from 10 million to 20 million treatment courses to be delivered in the months ahead." While "this is the estimate we need right now," Biden added, he cautioned that "we may need even more."

As for the "frustrating" nationwide COVID testing shortage, Biden assured Americans that he too is angered, "but we're making improvements."

"With more capacity for in-person tests," the president noted, "we should see waiting lines shorten and more appointments freed up."