President Joe Biden made a number of clear and controversial statements on “60 Minutes,” which aired Sunday.
There was some doubt about some other issues.
- In 2024, his intention is to run for re-election, but no firm decision has been made.
- Regarding the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago, Biden said he has not seen or been told what documents the FBI found, but his administration is fully read when it comes to national security secrets.
- Regarding inflation, he would not promise that it will go down, but he argued that it will be brought under control.
To say that Biden rarely gives extensive interviews is an understatement.
The US leader often speaks to reporters, but almost never holds a press conference or holds long interviews.
That’s why last week’s interview, which aired on CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday, is worth checking out and we could devote an entire newsletter to any of the above topics.
The White House felt the need to make clear that, on the pandemic and China and Taiwan, Biden’s words did not equate to a change in policy.
Biden adamantly declared the pandemic over, let’s see that.
“The pandemic is over,” Biden told CBS’ Scott Pelley as they toured the Detroit Auto Show last week. “We still have a problem with Covid. We are still doing a lot of work. … But the pandemic is over”.
He added, gesturing to the auto show floor: “If you notice, nobody’s wearing a mask. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it’s changing. And I think he’s a perfect example of that.”
The view Biden is taking is a complicated one, as the CNN report notes, because the US government still designates Covid-19 as a public health emergency and will continue to do so until at least October 13, when that declaration is up for potential renewal. .
Biden is right that there is more work to be done. His administration is seeking additional money from Congress to help develop the vaccine, among other things and Biden’s declaration may remove any remaining urgency among lawmakers.
There is a clear lag among Americans in receiving booster shots. Most countries have received the vaccine, but less than half of those eligible got the first boost, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Polls say some Parents of children under 5 who are now eligible to receive the vaccine do not have to get it for their children. Forty-three percent of those parents said they definitely would not vaccinate their child, according to a July Kaiser Family Foundation survey.
Vaccines, in addition to booster shots, may not completely stop the infection, but they are the best way to prevent a serious outcome from Covid-19, such as hospitalization or death.
Tens of thousands of cases of Covid-19 have been documented every month and hundreds of deaths every day The CDC expects it to remain stable rather than drop or edge.
US officials have flirted with declaring the pandemic over. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s top medical adviser and outgoing director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in April that the country was “out of the pandemic phase.”
A day later, he said on CNN that his comments were mischaracterized and that he did not mean the pandemic was over.
Fauci and other experts have long said the US should live with the virus. That seems to be what is happening now, as several developments have been seen in the intervening months.
- Immunity declines over time, but almost all Americans have some level of immunity, either through previous infection or vaccination.
- The The CDC ended recommendations for social distancing and quarantine as ways to control and mitigate the virus. recommendations for schools.
- The Paxlovid antiviral treatment that Biden took when he contracted Covid-19 this summer has helped reduce deaths.
- People are still dying: 425 a day, on average, and more than 13,000 in the past month, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University. That’s too much. But that’s a far cry from a year ago, when the daily average was more than 2,000.
Whether the pandemic is officially over or not, Americans continue to return to a more normal life. Most Americans, 57 percent, said in an Axios-Ipsos poll released this month that they are at least somewhat concerned about the virus. But a minority, 28%, said they had socially distanced themselves in the past week. A slightly larger minority, 37%, said they wore a mask more than once. And a strong majority, 64%, said they went out to eat.
Almost half, 46%, said they had returned to their pre-Covid-19 lifestyle.
Biden clearly sees ending the pandemic as key to his presidency and is at least partially to blame for how voters perceive him.
When Pelley asked how Biden’s presidential approval rating was “well below 50%,” Biden almost immediately pointed to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
Biden: I think you’ll agree that the effect the pandemic is having on the psyche of the American people is profound. Think how that changed everything. You know, people’s attitudes about themselves, about their families, about the state of the nation, the state of their communities. And so there’s a lot of uncertainty out there, a lot of uncertainty.
He added that America has passed one million deaths due to Covid-19.
“My point is that it takes time. We were left in a very difficult situation. it has been a very difficult time. Very difficult.”