Biden Backs Down on His Interview Response, Declares ‘The Pandemic Is Over’

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President Joe Biden on Tuesday revised his recent comments declaring that the US COVID-19 pandemic is over

At a fundraising drive in New York City for two Democratic groups and attended by celebrities, including Robert De Niro, the president appeared reassuring about COVID-19 and encouraged those in attendance to get vaccinated.

“By the way, if you didn’t get your boosters, get them,” Biden told the roughly 100 attendees, according to Bloomberg.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month approved an updated booster shot targeting omicron, including the more recent subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.

“We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it…but the pandemic is over,” Biden told TNZT’s “60 Minutes” in a segment that aired Sunday.

On Tuesday, Biden appeared to rephrase those comments, saying the US is actually in a much better place to fight COVID-19 this time around.

“It’s actually not where it was,” he said of the pandemic, according to Bloomberg.

The US has recorded more than 379,000 cases and 2,490 deaths in the past seven days, according to CDC data.

More than 67% of Americans have been fully vaccinated as of Sept. 14, according to the CDC.

The president’s pandemic statement over the weekend was met with unease by his Democratic colleagues but also caught the attention of Republican lawmakers, who seized the opportunity to question the need for additional COVID-19 funds.

“When it’s over, I wouldn’t suspect they need any more money,” Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) told TNZT.

Aside from COVID, however, Biden also spoke about politics during Tuesday’s fundraiser and reiterated his warning that the top priority right now is the midterm elections in November.

“They’re retaking the House and Senate, we’ll have a different world,” Biden said. “I’ll spend all my time with a veto pen.”

Also encouraging for Democrats are the drop in gas prices and the turnaround of Roe v. Wade, who appears to have encouraged voters to support abortion rights.

Polls show Democrats prefer to keep the Senate but still face an uphill battle in the House, even as their odds have improved, according to polling website FiveThirtyEight.

The president is expected to deliver a speech to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday morning.

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