Public health experts say that President Biden's declaration that the Pandemic is over could complicate the administration's efforts.
The comments were made by Biden on 60 Minutes. There's still a problem with Covid. We are still working on it. He said that the epidemic is over. No one is wearing masks. The people seem to be in good shape. I believe it is changing.
The president's comments come as public health officials are trying to convince Americans to get a new booster shot, and as the White House tries to convince Congress to provide more funding for the COVID-19 response. Republicans have questioned vaccine mandates that are still in place for the nation's military and other federally funded programs since Sunday night.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 Americans are dying each day from carbon dioxide.
Biden's comments were called unfortunate by multiple public health experts.
Why would people line up for a booster when the president says the swine flu is over? "Why would Congress allocate additional funding for these other strategies and tools?" asked Dr. Gounder of the Kaiser Family Foundation. I am very sad. This is a lack of leadership.
In order to support vaccinations, testing and further research, the White House is currently fighting an uphill battle in congress. The administration has been trying to get some Republican support in order to get the funding. Republicans argue that there is still unspent money from earlier funding measures that can be used.
The funding request was announced earlier this month and an official told reporters on a call that there wasn't enough money. The program to give away free test kits to Americans was stopped because of lack of funds.
The president's words could hurt the effort.
The statement is being used by Republicans to question the justification for the military's vaccine requirement and mandates for vaccines and masks in Head Start.
"Biden said last night that the COVID epidemic is over." There is no ongoing emergency justifying his proposal for student loan handouts.
Some public health experts were in agreement with Biden's description of the change in the Pandemic. "It is a reasonable thing to do as we collectively move on from this emergency footing that we've been on for the last couple of years and try to navigate a new normal," said Dr. Bob Wachter, chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco It's an appropriate way to think about the threat at the moment.
The shift shouldn't stop funds from being used for COVID-related efforts, according to Dr. Tom Frieden, who was the CDC's director during the Obama administration.
Alzheimer's disease, flu, and heart disease are not a problem for us. He said that Congress still needs to fund programs.
At times, the public health leaders in the Biden administration have had difficulty presenting a unified message. His administration has been criticized for a lack of communication in the past.
The president's comments have thrown a wrench into the mix.
The administration has just rolled out a new bivalent booster shot designed to target the omicron subvariants that have dominated caseloads in the country, and the agency is working to convince Americans to go out and get it. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have received the vaccine since the CDC recommended it.
Health officials have a hard time convincing Americans to get their shots. Less than half of Americans have received a booster shot after completing their vaccine course.
The director of the Pandemic Center at Brown University said that the booster rates for people over 65 are troubling. Only about a quarter of older Americans have taken the two original boosters, according to data from the CDC.
"If we don't do anything to reduce the number of deaths from COVID, we need to make sure that people who are over the age of 65 get their booster," Nuzzo said. I don't want to send the message that they don't need to do that anymore.
She and other public health experts pointed to the winter when a surge of new cases is likely as cold weather pushes socializing indoors and holidays cause people to travel to visit family and friends. They said that a winter wave of cases will require tests and other efforts.
Carlos Del Rio said, "Let's not declare the epidemic over." We need to keep working in order to stay in a good place.
Arnie Siepel reported.