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 omicron 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 BidenCourt nixes offshore drilling leases auctioned by Biden administration Laquan McDonald's family pushes for federal charges against officer ahead of early release Biden speaks with Ukrainian president amid Russian threat MORE's chief medical advisor, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care — ObamaCare gets record numbers Fans attending Super Bowl LVI to be given KN95 masks The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Breaking: Justice Breyer to retire 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 SpanbergerPelosi says she's open to stock trading ban for Congress On The Money — Ban on stock trading for Congress gains steam Joining Pelosi, Hoyer says lawmakers should be free to trade stocks 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 CassidyBipartisan lawmakers announce climate adaptation bill ​​Democrats make voting rights push ahead of Senate consideration Sunday shows - Voting rights legislation dominates MORE (R-La.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley — Presented by Cisco — Feds forge ahead on internet 'nutrition labels' Senate set for muted battle over Breyer successor Hillicon Valley — Biden celebrates 'right to repair' wins 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 CohenProsecutor: Avenatti stole from Stormy Daniels, lied to cover up scheme Stormy Daniels set to testify against former lawyer Avenatti in fraud trial Melania Trump announces new line of NFTs MORE, former personal attorney to then-President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial 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 SchiffMask rules spark political games and a nasty environment in the House CIA says 'Havana syndrome' unlikely a result of 'worldwide campaign' by foreign power The Hill's Morning Report - Biden to make voting rights play in Atlanta MORE (D-Calif.), Gov. Asa HutchinsonAsa HutchinsonGOP governors press Biden administration for control of infrastructure implementation Sarah Huckabee Sanders raises .8M since launch of Arkansas governor campaign Wisconsin GOP bill would count prior COVID-19 infection as immunity MORE (R-Ark.)

“Fox News Sunday” — Collins, Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoWatch: GOP leaders discuss Biden's first year in office McConnell will run for another term as leader despite Trump's attacks Senate Minority Whip Thune, close McConnell ally, to run for reelection MORE (R-Wyo.), Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz.

Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” —  Rep. Nancy MaceNancy MaceOn The Money — No SALT, and maybe no deal Hillicon Valley — YouTube permanently bans Dan Bongino Amazon endorses legislation to end federal prohibition on marijuana MORE (R-S.C.), Rep. John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoRomney participating in fundraiser for Liz Cheney New York redistricting panel surrenders over impasse The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Schumer tees up doomed election reform vote MORE (R-N.Y.), Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, Rep. Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerSupreme Court declines GOP challenge against House proxy voting Mask rules spark political games and a nasty environment in the House Swalwell slams House Republican for touting funding in bill she voted down MORE (R-Minn.)