President Joe Biden claimed that the COVID-19 pandemic was over while also admitting that the U.S. still faces problems with the coronavirus during a “60 Minutes” segment that aired on CBS on Sunday.
While touring the North American International Auto Show in Detroit with Biden, CBS correspondent Scott Kelley asked the president whether the pandemic was over, considering the return of in-person events and lack of masking requirements.
“The pandemic is over,” Biden replied. “We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of 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. And I think this is a perfect example of it,” the president added.
The president’s claims of the pandemic being finished are largely overshadowed by recent COVID-19 data in the U.S.
In the last month, there have been 2.2 million new infections reported in the U.S., with 13,606 deaths, according to John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. According to the New York Times COVID-19 tracker, the U.S. is averaging around 465 deaths per day.
Just last week, the head of the World Health Organization said at a United Nations COVID briefing that the end of the global pandemic “was in sight.”
“We are not there yet. But the end is in sight,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a virtual press conference.
First lady Jill Biden also contracted COVID-19 in late August in a “rebound” case.
Biden said in January that COVID-19 is “here to stay” but offered optimism on how the virus will be handled in the future.
“Having COVID in the environment and in the world is probably here to stay, but COVID as we’re dealing with it now is not here to stay,” Biden said at that time. “We are going to be able to control this. The new normal is not going to be what it is now. It’s going to be better.”