Facing the end of their restrictions and federal handouts, Democrats desperately are fighting back at President Joe Biden’s assertion that the COVID-19 pandemic is now history.
The president emphatically declared the “pandemic is over” in a weekend interview, undoubtedly to be able to declare victory and take a lap in celebration. Interviewed on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Biden added that “we still have a problem with COVID.”
The Democrat acknowledged that there is still work to be done. However, he reiterated, “the pandemic is over.”
His fellow party members, however, are not so eager to join in the triumph.
Among those scrambling to reword Biden’s statement was Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), who clarified that what the president really intended to say was that the “worst” of the pandemic is over.
We cannot be “complacent” about COVID, Khanna explained, but Biden was trying to emphasize that “life is largely returned to normal.”
Among those who fear losing Republican support for COVID relief funding is Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), who declared the coronavirus “is not over.” The senator said he did not know what the president meant, “but the way I look at it, COVID isn’t over.”
Biden declared the pandemic is over.
So, when will he let those discharged from the military due to vax mandates return to protecting our country?
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 19, 2022
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on Tuesday morning kept the drumbeat going about the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the nation. Issuing a warning about people struggling with long COVID, Murthy said the nation is losing about 400 people per day on average to coronavirus.
Before commenting that perhaps Biden knows something that he does not, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) pointed out that the variants are “still out there.” He also took issue with anyone, presumably the president as well, who would attempt to predict the pandemic’s demise.
Durbin said that Biden had asked for both funding and preparations for what may be next on the COVID front. Clearly Democrats do not want to give up funding that they hope to funnel to their districts before election day.
Republicans already opposed to more billions poured into “relief” are balking at approving an additional $22 billion for testing and vaccine development. The president’s declaration, while true, also gave them more ammunition to reject further wasteful spending.