President Biden reflects on COVID-19 with recent changes in America. Photo: Cameron Smith/ The White House

As of Sep. 17, 2022, President Joe Biden has deemed the COVID-19 pandemic “over” in the United States, according to The Guardian. Such a bold statement seems quite arbitrary regarding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s CDC recent report of nearly 400 people a day continuing to die of COVID-19 in the U.S. In an CBS 60 minute interview Mr. Biden said, “…we still have a problem with COVID-19. 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.” 

Here, “changing” is most likely the best word to describe this unfortunately continuing pandemic. However, according to the National Public Radio (NPR), Mr. Biden’s statement contradicts his proposal to Congress for an addition $22.4 billion dollars to fund the fight against COVID-19. Claiming the “end” to a global pandemic while hundreds of deaths continue to occur in the U.S can be construed as misinformation to the general public.

As stated in The New York Times, COVID-19 patients viewed the president’s statement as insensitive, and disease experts such as Dr. Michael T. Osterholm, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of Minnesota, said President Biden’s words were not in alignment with science. Dr. Osterholm continued to provide evidence with the fact that the U.S had, “… two million cases over the last 28 days,” recognizing that, “COVID-19 continues to be the No. 4 cause of death in the country.” Despite the CDC’S loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, such as issuing similar guidance to both unvaccinated and vaccinated and shortening the quarantine period from 10 days to five, the CDC has not declared an end to the pandemic. In fact, also according to NPR, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Faucci confirmed Mr. Biden’s mistake, saying that, “We are not where we need to be if we are going to quote ‘live with the virus,’ because we know we’re not going to eradicate it.

With this, the Global Health Organization (WHO) declared that the end of the pandemic was “in sight”, but not necessarily at a complete halt yet, as weekly deaths are at their lowest level since Mar. 2020. And as public backlash strengthened, Mr. Biden’s heath secretary Xavier Beccera reflected the president’s true sentiment: “I think the president was reflecting what so many Americans are feeling and thinking,” Mr. Becerra said, “that Covid has disrupted our lives for so long, but we’re also finding that with these effective vaccines, with masking, with the efforts to protect our children, seniors, we are learning how to cope with this virus. But make no mistake. People are still dying.” 

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