The COVID-19 epidemic has ended, US President Joe Biden stated on CBS’ ’60 Minutes,’ according to The Washington Post.
While replying to a query over the COVID pandemic, Biden said, “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lotta work on it. It’s– 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. And I think this is a perfect example of it.” Biden made the remarks on Wednesday during an interview at the auto show in Detroit, referencing the crowds at the event. The annual auto show had not been held since 2019.
As soon as the broadcast aired on Sunday night, Republicans questioned the administration’s decision to renew the public health emergency, claiming that if the epidemic is finished, why would the government prolong its ongoing public health emergency?
This emergency designation, which is slated to expire next month, has allowed federal authorities to explore flexible remedies in the midst of the crisis, such as quickly allowing new Covid treatments and keeping many Americans insured by Medicaid, the government’s safety-net health-care programme.
If the government withdraws its emergency declaration, 15.8 million Americans will lose Medicaid coverage, according to The Washington Post, citing the Urban Institute, a think tank that performs economic and social policy studies.
For months, the government has claimed that the virus is on the decline, citing the increasing availability of vaccinations, diagnostics, and therapies to combat it, as well as the population’s developing immunity.
Biden’s statements come at a time when new daily infections had dropped to slightly over 57,000, the lowest level since late April, though this is likely an undercount because most individuals test themselves at home and do not disclose their illnesses to local and state health officials.
Despite this, the illness continues to take its toll, with more than 30,000 people hospitalised and more than 400 deaths every day, according to seven-day averages published by The Washington Post.
Earlier, in the interview, Biden said that American forces would defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion, the most explicit statement by him so far on the issue concerning cross-strait relations.
Responding to a query over defending Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, Biden said the US would defend Taiwan “if in fact there was an unprecedented attack,” according to The Washington Post.