US President Joe Biden has said he believes the Covid-19 pandemic is “over” during a TV appearance, but acknowledged the country still has a “problem” with the virus that has to date killed more than 1 million Americans.
“The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with Covid. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. It’s – but the pandemic is over,” Biden said, speaking on CBS’ 60 Minutes.
Covid-19 remains designated as a Public Health Emergency in the US and the World Health Organization says it remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. But the President’s comments follow other optimistic comments from global health leaders.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said in a news briefing last week that the end of the pandemic was “in sight”.
“Last week, the number of weekly reported deaths from Covid-19 was the lowest since March 2020,” Ghebreyesus said. “We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic. We’re not there yet, but the end is in sight.”
Last month, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adjusted its Covid-19 guidance to urge the nation away from measures such as quarantines and social distancing and instead focus on reducing severe disease from Covid-19. The agency says that some people, including those who are older, immunocompromised, have certain disabilities or underlying health conditions, are at higher risk for serious illness and should still take more precautions.
There were about 65,000 new Covid-19 cases reported each day across the US over the past two weeks, with reported cases dropping in almost every state. Approximately 400 people are dying across the country each day as a result of the virus.