GOP leaders say it will be even harder to accept Covid aid after Biden “ends the pandemic.”

“It certainly makes it more difficult,” Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-South Dakota, told CNN. “It also questions why (he is accepting) other pandemic-related measures, such as student loan forgiveness, cancellations.”

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas and a member of the leadership, responded: “If it ends, I wouldn’t suspect they need more money.”

Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, a Republican member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said he is finalizing a letter to the White House asking them to “clarify whether this means the end of the state of emergency. Things change.”

“I don’t think they were going to get any money from Covid anyway,” Burr said.

In an interview that aired on CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday, Biden said he believes the Covid-19 pandemic is “over” but acknowledged that the US still has a “problem” with the virus that has killed more than a million Americans.

“The pandemic is over,” Biden said in the interview. “We still have a problem with Covid. We are still doing a lot of work. Yes, but the pandemic is over.”

Despite Biden’s remarks, the White House has requested $22.5 billion in additional Covid aid to support vaccines, testing and therapeutics. In April, senators from both parties reached a $10 trillion deal on Covid aid, but that was stalled by an unrelated dispute over an immigration amendment. Before that, a package of Covid money was removed from the government’s spending bill over opposition from a bloc of House Democrats to spending cuts to pay for it.

“Covid aid is not going to happen,” Senator Mitt Romney, the Utah Republican who cut the $10 trillion deal that stalled in the spring, told CNN. “Not with Republican votes.”

The White House has pushed for Covid aid to be included in a continuing resolution this month to keep government agencies moving forward, but there’s little chance of that happening now.

Democrats pushed back on Biden’s remarks.

“The variations are still there,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said when asked about Biden’s comment. “We’re all hoping it’s over; nobody’s going to predict it with any certainty. Not me.”

Asked about Biden’s statement, the Illinois Democrat added: “He might know more than I do. I’m sure he does.”

Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, said: “Covid is not over.” And he added: “We need help.”

This story was updated with additional updates on Monday.