Biden says 'the pandemic is over'

U.S. President Joe Biden walks to the Oval Office after returning to the White House on Marine One on September 14, 2022 in Washington, DC.
U.S. President Joe Biden walks to the Oval Office after returning to the White House on Marine One on September 14, 2022 in Washington, DC. Photo credit Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

On Sunday, during an interview with "60 Minutes," President Joe Biden said that the COVID-19 pandemic is "over" in the United States.

"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," Biden said on "60 Minutes."

Biden was interviewed while at the Detroit Auto Show last week. While walking around, he noted that no one was wearing masks, and everyone seemed to "be in pretty good shape."

"I think it's changing," Biden said. "And I think this is a perfect example of it."

Contradictory to his comments in the interview, the president requested that congress provide billions of dollars to maintain testing and vaccination efforts only a few weeks prior.

The remarks also come following top COVID-19 White House official Dr. Ashish Jha's press conference with reporters on Sept. 6, in which he said: "the pandemic isn't over."

"We will remain vigilant, and of course, we continue to look for and prepare for unforeseen twists and turns," Jha said at the beginning of the month.

Other health experts have also warned that the pandemic is far from over, with epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm sharing earlier this month that COVID-19 is still the number four leading cause of death in the nation.

"COVID right now is the number four cause of death in this country, and everyone is acting as if it's done and it's over with; it's not," Osterholm said.

Currently, the nation is averaging around 400 deaths a day from the virus, according to the CDC. Health officials have said that the numbers are "still too high."

Despite all this, restrictions put in place because of the virus have all but been removed across the country by local health departments.

The comments from Biden also come as health experts urge Americans to receive the updated bivalent COVID-19 booster shot designed to target the original strain of the virus and the omicron variant.

The fall booster push is being seen as a way to help ensure Americans can "get back to school, get back to work, and get back into their regular routines after the summer," Jha said.

There has not been a comment made by the White House on any updated stance on the pandemic since Biden's interview aired.