The White House and Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday directly contradicted President Joe Biden's declaration that the COVID-19 pandemic is "over."
What did Biden say?
Speaking with "60 Minutes" in an interview that aired on Sunday, the president said in unequivocal terms the pandemic is no more.
"The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We're still doing a lotta work on it," Biden said. "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."
What did Fauci, WH say?
Speaking at an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Fauci directly contradicted Biden and claimed the U.S. is not positioned to rightly declare an end to the pandemic.
Fauci serves as Biden's chief medical adviser.
"Now, for sure the intensity of the outbreak now — even though it is, I believe, unacceptably high, where we’re having 400 deaths per day – when you compare it to the fulminant stages we’ve experienced over the past year or so where we used to have 800,000 to 900,000 cases per day and over 3,000 deaths per day, we are much better off now," Fauci said.
"But we are not where we need to be if we’re going to be able to, quote, 'live with the virus' because we know we’re not going to eradicate it," he added.
Eradication is an impossibility, Fauci said, because of variants.
"[T]he combination of the evolution of variants as well as the seasonal aspects that as we get into this coming late fall and winter, it is likely that we will see another variant emerge," Fauci predicted.
The Future Outlook with Dr. Anthony Fauci www.youtube.com
Also on Monday, CNN reported the official position of the U.S. government — that the U.S. is experiencing a national emergency because of COVID-19 — remains unchanged.
The outlet reported:
[A]n administration official told CNN that the President's comments do not mark a change in policy toward the administration's handling of the virus, and there are no plans to lift the Public Health Emergency, which has been in place since January 2020 and is currently extended through October 13.
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended Biden on Tuesday, claiming that Biden was "very clear" that COVID "remains a problem."
"The president said, and he was very clear in his '60 Minutes' interview, that COVID remains a problem, and we're fighting it," she said.