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Sunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist

The emergence of a new COVID-19 variant as the United States sees an uptick in infections and ongoing supply chain issues and inflation affecting the country during the holiday shopping season are both expected to dominate this week’s Sunday show circuit. 

Earlier this week, scientists from South Africa announced that they had detected a new COVID-19 variant, which they characterized as being of “serious concern.” Originally known as the B.1.1.529 variant, one South African professor called it “clearly very different” from previous variants of the coronavirus.

On Friday, the World Health Organization convened a special meeting on the new variant, ultimately labeling it a “variant of concern” and giving it a Greek name, omicron. Officials said they were concerned about the variant because, based on their research, it poses a higher risk for re-infection and has many mutations. 

Despite early warnings not to have “knee jerk” reactions to the data being reported out of South Africa, countries like the United Kingdom and United States decided to issue travel restrictions for a handful of southern African nations due to fears that the omnicron variant would spread.

The U.S. announced Friday that it would be restricting travel to eight African nations, including South Africa, beginning on Monday.

“As a precautionary measure until we have more information, I am ordering additional air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries. As we move forward, we will continue to be guided by what the science and my medical team advises,” Biden said in a statement on Friday following the announcement.

However, some officials, including former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, criticized the country’s rush toward restricting travel.

“Good world is more organized; taking new variant seriously, with coordinated effort to investigate. It’s counterproductive in short and long run, however, to impose harsh travel restrictions on affected countries; hurting current containment efforts, discouraging future sharing,” Gottlieb tweeted on Friday.

President BidenJoe BidenSouth Africa health minister calls travel bans over new COVID variant ‘unjustified’ Biden attends tree lighting ceremony after day out in Nantucket Senior US diplomat visiting Southeast Asia to ‘reaffirm’ relations MORE‘s chief medical advisor, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciUS to restrict travel from eight African nations over new COVID-19 concerns Israel warns of looming emergency after its first case of omicron, new COVID-19 variant Five things to know about omicron, new COVID-19 ‘variant of concern’ MORE, said Friday that the U.S. is “rushing” to get data on the omicron variant in order to determine whether it can “evade the antibodies that we make” through vaccination.

“Right now you’re talking about sort of like a red flag that this might be an issue — but we don’t know,” he said.

Fauci is scheduled to appear on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

The director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, is also scheduled for multiple appearances, on CNN’s “State of the Union” and “Fox News Sunday.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. is still grappling with high inflation and supply chain issues as the holiday season continues to ramp up. 

Earlier this week, Rep. Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerOn The Money — Biden sticks with Powell despite pressure Spanberger calls on Biden to appoint supply chain czar The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – Arbery case, Biden spending bill each test views of justice MORE (D-Va.) wrote a letter addressed to Biden on Monday calling for him to name a supply chain czar to address bottlenecks through a coordinated federal response.

“I urge you to appoint a Supply Chain Czar responsible for coordinating a federal response to supply chain disruptions across all relevant agencies, working with state and local governments to address bottlenecks wherever they occur, and finding ways to bolster American manufacturing and supply chain resilience at home,” Spanberger wrote in her letter to the president.

The White House in October announced that FedEx, UPS, Walmart and the Port of Los Angeles would be ramping up operations to take place 24 hours, seven days a week in response to persistent supply chain bottlenecks. 

These ongoing concerns come after Americans recently gave the president relatively low approval ratings for his handling of inflation. A CBS News-YouGov poll last week found that only one third of Americans surveyed approved of Biden’s handling of inflation, while 67 percent said they disapproved.

Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer David Clark is scheduled to appear on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” while Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at asset management firm Allianz, is scheduled to appear on “Fox News Sunday.”

Below is the full list of guests scheduled to appear on this week’s Sunday talk shows:

ABC’s “This Week” — Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyLegislators look to expand health care access through telehealth, biosimilars Infrastructure deal is proof that Congress can still do good, bipartisan work The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – House Democrats eye big vote on Biden measure MORE (R-La.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Biden renominates Powell as Fed chair Senate Democrats look to fix ugly polling numbers The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – Gosar censured as GOP drama heightens MORE (D-Minn.)

NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Dr, Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Gov. Tate Reeves (R-Miss.), Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenThe Hill’s Morning Report – Ins and outs: Powell renominated at Fed, Parnell drops Senate bid Michael Cohen officially released from prison sentence Judge tosses Michael Cohen’s lawsuit over Trump legal bills MORE, former personal attorney to then-President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE.

CBS’ “Face the Nation” — David Clark, CEO Worldwide Consumer at Amazon, Fauci.

CNN’s “State of the Union” — Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health; Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffJan. 6 panel may see leverage from Bannon prosecution An unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff’s book based on Russia fiction Stoltenberg says Jan. 6 siege was attack on ‘core values of NATO’ MORE (D-Calif.), Gov. Asa HutchinsonAsa HutchinsonArkansas opens boosters to all adults Americans are participating in redistricting like never before Arkansas governor backs Sarah Huckabee Sanders to replace him MORE (R-Ark.)

“Fox News Sunday” — Collins, Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoWhite House looks to rein in gas prices ahead of busy travel season Biden administration to release 50 million barrels of oil from strategic reserve Energy information chief blames market for high fuel prices MORE (R-Wyo.), Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz.

Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” —  Rep. Nancy MaceNancy MaceUS lawmakers arrive in Taiwan to meet with local officials US lawmakers visiting Taiwan for meetings with defense ministry: report Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Pledged money not going to Indigenous causes MORE (R-S.C.), Rep. John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoLawmakers increasingly anxious about US efforts against Russian hackers GOP senators appalled by ‘ridiculous’ House infighting House votes to censure Gosar and boot him from committees MORE (R-N.Y.), Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, Rep. Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerGOP blaming Democrats for ‘chaos’ in new ad The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Did Democrats misread voters’ 2020 call for change? Democrats brace for flood of retirements after Virginia rout MORE (R-Minn.) 

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