The president’s comments to 60 Minutes about the end of the Covid-19 pandemic reportedly came as a surprise to his own health officials
President Biden has declared the Covid-19 pandemic over, despite hundreds of Americans still dying from the disease daily.
“The pandemic is over,” he told 60 Minutes from the Detroit Auto Show. “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 is wearing masks. Everyone seems to be in pretty good shape. I think it’s changing, and I think this is a perfect example of it.”
The Centers for Disease Control notes that nearly 400 Americans are still dying per day from Covid-19 and that over 1,047,000 have died since the pandemic began, as of Monday.
Multiple outlets have reported that Biden’s comments blindsided administration officials and that the declaration was not part of his prepared remarks.
Biden’s interview with 60 Minutes aired Sunday night, but his comments were made while he was attending the Detroit Auto Show on Wednesday. The same day, World Health Organization Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus said the pandemic was not over.
“We are not there yet, but the end is in sight,” he said after noting that the world has never been in a better position to end the pandemic. “If we don’t take this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption, and more uncertainty.”
Biden celebrated that not many people at the Detroit Auto Show wore masks but still acknowledged the toll the pandemic has exacted on the United States.
“The impact on the psyche of the American people as a consequence of the pandemic is profound,” the president said. “Think of how that has changed everything. You know, people’s attitudes about themselves, their families, about the state of the nation, about the state of their communities. And so there’s a lot of uncertainty out there, a great deal of uncertainty. And we lost a million people.”