President Joe Biden has declared the COVID-19 pandemic “over.”
“We still have a problem with COVID,” Biden said in a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday night on CBS. “We’re still doing a lot of work on it … but the pandemic is over.”
While walking through the site of the Detroit Auto Show during part of the interview, Biden referred to the crowds: “If you notice, no one’s wearing masks.”
It is interesting that the president, and thus his administration, finally declared the pandemic over now.
Even though for most Americans the pandemic has been “over” for quite some time, it’s clear that some of the administration’s die-hard supporters aren’t willing to let go.
If you visit Washington, D.C., or Manhattan, you will still see plenty of people in masks. And some online left-wingers weren’t happy with the president’s pronouncement in his interview with “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley.
It might be safe to say that, for some, the pandemic never will be over; life will be an endless loop of social isolation, double masking, and booster shots.
That’s their prerogative.
Of course, the Biden administration didn’t want to give the American people the prerogative if they disagreed with the president’s policies.
The timing of Biden’s proclamation is interesting and more than a little grating. It seems little has changed in regard to COVID-19 in recent months, yet the administration was happy to use it to ram through political priorities.
Biden’s sudden proclamation of “mission accomplished” is grating.
It’s clear that the Biden administration has tried to have things both ways, continuing COVID-19 emergency policies when they’re convenient for the political agenda and dropping those policies when they aren’t.
Remember that, just three weeks ago, Biden used the excuse of the pandemic to unilaterally declare student loan debt forgiveness.
His plan wasn’t just constitutionally dubious, it was a slap in the face to working-class Americans. It foisted a $300 billion bill on the backs of taxpayers when inflation already was spiraling out of control.
Less important but significantly pettier was the Biden administration’s decision late last month to prevent Serbian tennis great Novak Djokovic from playing in the U.S. Open because he refuses to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The administration has kept a vaccine requirement in place for foreign travelers and wouldn’t make an exception for Djokovic, even though he is a world-class athlete in peak health.
The Biden administration insists on keeping this vaccine mandate while looking for ways to drop Title 42, a public health policy invoked by the Trump administration during the pandemic that allowed for rapid deportation of illegal immigrants.
As has become clear, this administration has been happy to let the floodgates stay open on the border, regardless of risks to the American people.
The White House’s declared public health emergency over COVID-19 is set to expire in October. Will that emergency be dropped, now that the pandemic is “over”? This is important because the White House is still trying to secure over $20 billion in funding for fighting COVID-19.
This huge amount of money may seem like nothing after the staggering amount of spending in the past few years, but it still feels like the Biden administration is trying to squeeze every drop of wealth out of the American taxpayer that it can before the gravy train stops.
If the pandemic is over, it seems the administration should drop the vaccine mandate for everyone in the military. The Army is grappling with a historic recruiting crisis. It seems like upholding a vaccine mandate for the military when the pandemic is over makes the crisis significantly worse.
In addition, Biden’s Democrat allies continue to pursue repressive pandemic policies.
The New York City Department of Education just fired an additional “850 teachers and classroom aides” because they didn’t provide vaccine information by the Sept. 5 deadline, according to the New York Post. Over 2,000 education employees have been fired in New York so far because of the vaccine mandate.
This is happening even as the city faces a massive teacher shortage.
Thousands of police officers and firefighters lost their jobs because of New York’s vaccine mandate, too. Will they get their jobs back now?
One would think New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a former police officer, and a Democrat, should do something about this. So far, nothing.
No wonder people are fleeing New York for Florida.
The bottom line is that for most Americans, the president’s sudden declaration that the pandemic is “over” means almost nothing. Biden’s announcement during his “60 Minutes” interview just points to the cynical and farcical nature of this administration, that they’ve juggled this decision mostly because of politics and not “science.”
It also points to the countless reasons that many Americans have completely lost faith in our country’s institutions and leaders.
Originally published at The Daily Signal.
Jarrett Stepman is a contributor to The Daily Signal and co-host of The Right Side of History podcast. He is also the author of the book The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America's Past.