President Joe Biden's "60 Minutes" declaration "the pandemic is over" is drawing a response Monday, but not quite a joyous one.
"The pandemic is over," Biden said Sunday. "We still have a problem with COVID. We're still doing a lot of work on it, but the pandemic is over."
Health experts are saying the pandemic is not actually over yet, while Republicans are saying Biden and Democrats need to move to unwind their strict COVID-19 public policies and protocols then, if it indeed was over.
"With the pandemic officially over, now it's time to end all vaccine mandates," Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., tweeted Sunday.
Biden's comment even flies in the face of a $22.4 billion White House request this month for COVID-19 funding in the next continuing resolution to fund the government. Republicans want unused COVID-19 funds from past appropriations to be used first, as The Wall Street Journal reported.
"It's completely off base," Scripps Research Translational Institute Director Dr. Eric Topol told the Journal. "It's an illusion. We have millions of people with long COVID and no vaccine that blocks transmission."
The Biden administration released its updated COVID-19 Global Response and Recovery Framework last week "to end the emergency phase of the pandemic," the Journal reported.
"If 'the pandemic is over' as Biden says, then all of the president's emergency powers predicated on a pandemic, all COVID vax mandates, the emergency powers of every governor, Emergency Use Authorizations, and the PREP act should all be voided tomorrow," Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., tweeted Sunday.
Former Trump administration Surgeon General Jerome Adams criticized Biden, too.
"I understand what he was trying to say but such rhetoric is hurtful, dangerous, and scientifically untrue," Adams tweeted. "Nice to see some people call it out."
George Washington University Dr. Leana Wen said the pandemic is over in that we have COVID-19 here to stay.
"One definition of a pandemic is something that changes the way we live, work, and go to school," Wen told the Journal. "For most Americans, COVID-19 is no longer dominating their lives and is now being understood as another infectious disease risk, more akin to the flu than a dire deadly disease."
There have been 95 million COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and more than 1 million deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows.
But the 7-day average of new cases is near 61,000 after being 970,000 per week Jan. 17, and hospitalizations are around 4,100 per week, dropping 80% since mid-January, according to the report.
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