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White House cleans up Biden's 'very consistent' claim pandemic is 'over'

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 9/21/2022 Katherine Doyle
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) © Provided by Washington Examiner White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

When President Joe Biden declared the coronavirus pandemic “over,” he was observing a shift in preparedness from the early days of the pandemic, the White House said, still cleaning up after Biden's Sunday interview.

Biden’s press secretary said Wednesday that the president was speaking about public sentiment, not the state of emergency, during a headline-grabbing 60 Minutes interview that appeared to throw into disarray his administration's agenda.

“Just to step back for a second, when he made those comments, he was walking through the Detroit car show, the halls of the Detroit car show, he was looking around. We have to remember the last time that they had held that event was three years ago,” Karine Jean-Pierre said during an appearance on MSNBC Wednesday. “We are in a different time. He’s been very consistent about that.”

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Biden’s comments, which aired Sunday, have forced the White House into clean-up mode as it bats back the president's assessment that the pandemic has ended.

“We still have a problem with COVID,” Biden told CBS. “We’re still doing a lot of work on it … but the pandemic is over.”

The president’s assertion comes as his administration pushes for billions of dollars to purchase coronavirus vaccinations and treatments while relying on continuing “emergency” policies. Biden's comments prompted a sell-off on Wall Street, wiping more than $10 billion off the market value of vaccine makers.

Jean-Pierre on Wednesday said Biden’s reflections that “we are in a different time” are nothing new, however.

“He’s been very consistent about that,” Jean-Pierre said, explaining that the pandemic is still in effect but is “now more manageable.”

“We know how to deal with this pandemic,” she said. “It’s not as disruptive as it’s been in the prior years.”

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The efforts by the White House to clarify Biden’s remarks in the rare sit-down interview have continued days after the segment aired — and across a range of issues.

Biden also recommitted the United States to defending Taiwan in case of an attack by China, an assertion that his administration has walked back on multiple occasions.

 

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Tags: Joe Biden, News, Biden Administration, White House, Coronavirus, 60 Minutes

Original Author: Katherine Doyle

Original Location: White House cleans up Biden's 'very consistent' claim pandemic is 'over'

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