Politicians on both sides of the aisle have stressed that the pandemic is not over.
On Sunday, US President Joe Biden appeared on an interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes. During this interview, the President was asked whether or not he believes the COVID-19 pandemic is officially over. “The pandemic is over,” he said in response. “We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. It’s — but the pandemic is over.”
This statement has drawn blowback from politicians on both the Democratic and Republican sides of the aisle, both of which have stressed that the pandemic is very much not over, and that Biden’s statements may, in fact, make it harder for those currently enduring the disease to deal with it.
“COVID is not over,” Democratic Virginia Senator Tim Kaine said Monday. “I don’t know what he meant — some people use ‘pandemic’ or ‘epidemic’ or other phrases. And he said that COVID isn’t over, the pandemic is over. But the way I look at it, COVID isn’t over.”
“The variants are still out there. We are all hoping that it’s over [but] nobody is going to predict with certainty that it is. I’m not,” added Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin.
Scott Pelley interviews President Joe Biden in Detroit and at the White House to discuss inflation, Russia’s war on Ukraine and U.S.-China tensions. Tonight, on the 55th season premiere of 60 Minutes. https://t.co/CCYeZH54s0 pic.twitter.com/uUsNePkHq8
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) September 18, 2022
“Despite Americans having largely returned to normal life, which you acknowledged when you noted that attendees at the Detroit Auto Show were not wearing masks, your Administration continues to request un-offset emergency funding from Congress, enforce vaccine mandates, and maintain federal emergency declarations that cost taxpayers billions of dollars,” wrote North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr in a note.
“The president saying the pandemic is over is … just kind of mind-boggling,” said Louisiana Republican Senator Bill Cassidy. “He wants tens of billions for COVID and he says the pandemic is over?”