With 400+ dying every day in US, President Biden says Covid 'pandemic is over'

Over 3,000 Americans were dying of Covid every single week, even if the virus' intensity had diminished

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, September 19, 2022, 02:56 PM IST
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US President Joe Biden | AP

During an interview aired by CBS News on Sunday, US President Joe Biden said that while coronavirus is still a problem, circumstances are changing and "everybody seems to be in pretty good shape," in remarks sure to generate controversy.

Speaking to the news show "60 Minutes", “We still have a problem with Covid. We’re still doing a lotta 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.”

Dr Eric Fegl-Ding, a top US health economist, took to Twitter to rubbish the notion that the pandemic was over, pointing out that over 3,000 Americans were dying of Covid every single week, even if the virus' intensity had diminished.

“Heck no. With all due respect, @JoeBiden — you’re wrong. Pandemic is not over. Almost 3,000 Americans are dying from #COVID19 every single week. A weekly 9/11 is a very big deal. Don’t even get me started on #LongCOVID—wreaking havoc on millions more," he tweeted.

A week ago, the World Health Organization declared that the end of the pandemic was “in sight”, after revealing that weekly deaths were at the lowest level since March 2020.

However, it cautioned that coronavirus still posed an “acute global emergency” and highlighted that during the first eight months of 2022 more than 1 million people died from Covid-19.

As soon as the show was aired on Sunday night, the Republicans raised questions regarding the renewal of the public health emergency and said that if the pandemic is over then why would the administration renew its ongoing public health emergency.

That emergency declaration, which is set to expire next month, has allowed federal officials to pursue flexible solutions amid the crisis, including rapidly authorizing new Covid treatments and keeping many Americans covered by Medicaid, the safety-net health programme.

If the government ends its emergency declaration, then 15.8 million Americans would lose their Medicaid coverage, The Washington Post reported, citing Urban Institute, a think tank that conducts economic and social policy research.

The administration for months has maintained that the virus is on the retreat, citing the growing availability of vaccines, tests and treatments to fight it and the population’s expanding immunity.

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