When will the pandemic be over? For some in power, it seems, that’s a trick question.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to end the COVID-caused national emergency declared in 2020. But not everyone was on board.
Previously, the bill had been unsuccessfully proposed. Then during a September 60 Minutes, interview, Joe Biden dropped a bomb:
“The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID, we’re still doing a lot of work on it. … But the pandemic is over.”
From CBS News:
Mr. Biden’s comments came only a few weeks after his administration asked Congress for billions of dollars to maintain its testing and vaccination efforts.
The Leader of the Free World seemed to have spoken out of turn…
The remark contradicts statements made by his own aides earlier this month, as they have urged Americans to seek out an updated booster ahead of a feared fall and winter wave of the virus.
“The pandemic isn’t over. And we will remain vigilant, and of course, we continue to look for and prepare for unforeseen twists and turns,” Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s top COVID-19 official, told reporters on September 6.
As RedState’s Nick Arama pointed out at the time, Joe’s announcement threw “all of his mandates and state mandates into question, not to mention the legal justification for his student loan bailout. There was speculation that he was doing it to make things sound better before the election.”
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) September 19, 2022
Per The Independent, damage control ensued:
The President acknowledged the criticism when speaking to donors. He then added that what he meant to say was that the pandemic “basically is not where it was.”
Even so, following the President’s pronouncement, Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) reintroduced Senate Joint Resolution 63. On the 15th, the effort to terminate our state of emergency triumphed via 61 yays — which included 100 percent of Republicans. However, 37 Democrats voted against it. That is to say, more than three dozen senators insist America is still in a Code Red state over the coronavirus.
But COVID is now a part of the planet, and most people haven’t been voluntarily masking for a very long time. In fact, only around 31 million Americans have cared to get a fall COVID-19 booster. The country, mostly, has moved on. But for some in seats of power, an emergency state still seems about right.
From the Senate floor Tuesday, Sen. Marshall offered the following:
“Congress must take the responsible action of reining in this massive expansion of government and restore Americans fundamental rights by terminating the COVID-19 national emergency declaration. As to the elements to the pandemic response that are working and needed, let’s codify them into law.”
The measure has the House and the President still to reach, and the White House isn’t ready to roll over. The day before S.J. 63 passed in the upper chamber, Biden’s Office of Management and Budget released a staunch statement:
Continuing to protect against COVID-19 and ensuring that our response remains nimble are top
priorities of this Administration. … The national emergency enables the Administration to more effectively respond to COVID-19, including ensuring that necessary supplies are promptly available to respond to the virus and facilitating the delivery of health care at a time when our health system has been under tremendous and prolonged stress. These authorities are critical to continue responding not only to the Omicron variant, but also to emerging subvariants already spreading in the United States and future variants that may arise. … Preserving our ability to respond is more important than ever as we head into the winter, when respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19 typically spread more easily.
It’s better for the economy:
Strengthened by the ongoing declaration of national emergency, the federal response to COVID-19 continues to save lives, improve health outcomes, and support the American economy.
If Congress passes this resolution, the President will veto it.
So when will the pandemic be over? For Joe Biden — though he may not know it — it’ll be no time soon. The same goes for 37 Senate Democrats.
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