President Joe Biden declared the Covid-19 pandemic “over” Sunday while speaking with Scott Pelley on “60 minutes.”
Speaking together at the first Detroit auto show in three years, Pelley asked the President if that was evidence that the pandemic was “over.” Biden replied in the affirmative, though conceding that COVID was still a “problem.”
“We’re still doing a lot of work on it, but the pandemic is over,” Biden assured.
Biden’s remarks come days after Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, announced that the number of weekly deaths from COVID were the lowest they had been since March 2020, CNN reported. “We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic,” Ghebreyesus stated. “We’re not there yet, but the end is in sight.”
Similarly, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shifted its Covid-19 guidance away from stringent measures such as quarantines and social distancing and has instead re-focused its efforts on reducing severe disease from Covid-19, according to CNN.
Biden is far from the only world leader who’s hopeful about the future. Last week, New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, known for the tough controls she enacted during the pandemic, lifted mask requirements in public spaces, quarantine requirements for exposed individuals and vaccination declarations for inbound travelers, Bloomberg reported.
While the CDC has warned that those with underlying conditions are still at risk and should continue to take precautions, data has shown that the risk of death fell to the lowest it’s ever been during the Omicron wave, CNN reported. Higher levels of immunity, from vaccination and previous infection, advances in treatments and the less infectious properties of the Omicron sub-variants have contributed to an improved mortality risk overall, the news outlet stated.