- President Biden declared the pandemic to be “over” during an interview that aired Sunday.
- The president pointed to the general return of large events that no longer require masks or proof of vaccination.
- Biden added that his administration is still working on the COVID-19 problem, but “the pandemic is over.”
“The pandemic is over,” President Joe Biden declared during an interview that aired Sunday.
During the “60 Minutes” interview, the president pointed to the Detroit auto show scene last Wednesday, which showcased a lot of attendees no longer wearing masks.
“We still have a problem with COVID,” Biden acknowledged. “We’re still doing a lotta work on it… but the pandemic is over.”
He pointed out, “If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it’s changing. And I think this is a perfect example of it.”
Much of the world, including the U.S., has returned to hosting large events over the past year, with most events no longer requiring mask-wearing or proof of vaccination.
COVID-19 is still categorized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently showed optimism that the world is “in a better position to end the pandemic.” With the death rate at its “lowest since March 2020,” Ghebreyesus thinks “the end is in sight.”
Earlier this year, top medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci also said that the country is heading “out of the pandemic phase” given the manageable rates of hospitalizations and deaths.
Biden previously showed similar optimism during a speech on Independence Day in 2021, when he declared that the country is close to declaring independence from the virus.
But with the virus still evolving into highly contagious variants all over the globe, it has been nigh impossible to be fully rid of the virus. The delta variant led to another surge in cases and deaths last year, with the omicron variant causing another spike from late 2021 to early 2022. Booster shots were specifically designed to prevent severe cases of the omicron variant.
Currently, there are still an average of over 400 COVID-19 deaths per day in the country, the New York Times reported.
During the “60 Minutes” interview, Biden remarked on the pandemic’s “profound” effect on “the psyche of the American people.”
Biden said, “There’s a lot of uncertainty out there, a great deal of uncertainty. And we lost a million people. A million people to COVID.”
Biden’s pandemic message has focused on the importance of vaccination to increase immunity. In July, he himself contracted COVID-19, but only experienced mild symptoms. His mild case was attributed to him being fully vaccinated, in addition to the antiviral drug Paxlovid.
The president touted his administration’s vaccination efforts, saying, “When I got elected, only 2 million people had been vaccinated. I got 220 million — my point is it takes time. We were left in a very difficult situation. It’s been a very difficult time. Very difficult.”
Source: The Hill