President Joe Biden declared the COVID-19 pandemic is “over” in a statement that took officials in his administration by surprise and led to questions about why the Government continues to enforce federal mandates and seek more funding to fight the disease. The Mail has more.
Biden’s statement, made during an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday night, came as a surprise to administration officials, two senior health officials told the Washington Post.
And his seemingly off-the-cuff comment may have torpedoed his request to Congress for $22.4 billion in funds to fight the pandemic. Republicans were already wary about supporting the funding and Biden’s declaration didn’t win him any support.
“The pandemic is over,” Biden told CBS News. “We still have a problem with Covid. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape, and so I think it’s changing.”
Earlier this summer, the U.S. renewed its order designating Covid a national emergency. The designation was set to expire in October. It gives the administration flexibility to combat the pandemic, including rapidly authorizing treatments and keeping many Americans covered by Medicaid.
The World Health Organisation also says Covid remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
And Ashish Jha, the White House coronavirus coordinator, said earlier this month that Covid was still out there.
Yet more policy confusion in the Biden administration.
Worth reading in full.