President Joe Biden on Sunday said that the coronavirus pandemic ‘is over,’ all while admitting the US is still struggling to handle the virus.
‘The pandemic is over,’ Biden said in an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes.
‘We still have a problem with Covid. We’re still doing a lotta work on it. But the pandemic is over,’ the president said.
Giving the interview from the Detroit Auto Show, Biden gestured around the event before saying, ‘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.’
Biden’s declaration comes a week after the World Health Organization said the end of the pandemic was ‘in sight’ after it revealed the weekly total of deaths from the virus was at the lowest level since March 2020.
Despite the low numbers this September, WHO cautioned the virus is still a global emergency. The US is currently averaging just under 400 Covid-related deaths each day.
His comments also come shortly after his administration asked Congress for billions of dollars to maintain the country’s Covid testing and vaccine programs through the fall.
Biden asked Congress for $22.4 billion more in funding to better prepare the country for a potential spike in Covid cases as the US nears the colder months.
During his interview, the president also cited the ongoing pandemic as part of the reason why his approval rating has been so low, sitting below 50% for most of his presidency.
‘This is a really difficult time,’ Biden said. ‘We’re at an inflection point in the history of this country. We’re gonna make decisions, and we’re making decisions now, that are gonna determine what we’re gonna look like the next ten years from now. I think you’d agree that the impact on the psyche of the American people as a consequence of the pandemic is profound.’
The president then noted that the US has lost one million people to Covid.
‘When I got in office, when I – 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.’
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