Editorial — The pandemic is not over

The truth behind President Biden’s claim


While Covid-19 cases in the U.S. are trending downwards, the pandemic is not over. The virus has not been eradicated, and measures still need to be taken to protect those at high risk for more harmful effects of Covid.

North Wind Editorial Board

During a recent 60 Minutes interview, President Joe Biden stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has come to an end.

“We still have a problem with COVID. We are still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over,” Biden said. “If you notice, no one is wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape, and so I think it is changing.”

While it may feel as if the pandemic is over, with mask mandates and vaccine requirements no longer being enforced, the COVID-19 virus is still spreading at a concerning rate in the United States. 

According to the CDC, the U.S. is averaging around 53,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. Of these cases, nearly 4,000 result in hospitalization and over 350 lead to death on a daily basis. While these statistics are trending downwards, they clearly indicate that the pandemic is not over.

We need to be honest with ourselves. COVID-19 will always be a part of our lives.

Thanks to a relatively high vaccination rate in our country, the severe health risks that are associated with the virus have been mitigated. However, we should expect COVID-19 to be treated similarly to the flu as time marches on.

For example, the Biden administration has been working to provide an updated coronavirus booster shot to those 12 and older. This will be the third booster shot approved by the FDA since the start of the pandemic nearly three years ago. The booster-a-year trend, just like that of the flu shot, will likely continue for many years to come. 

This is not a bad thing. The CDC has stated that vaccination is the best defense against the dangerous health effects that accompany COVID-19. 

Biden’s declaration that the pandemic is over, however, may sour all of the preventative efforts that have been developed within the last three years. Those who may have been downplaying, denying or speaking out against government regulations since the COVID-19 pandemic began can now use Biden’s words as an excuse to act carelessly regarding public health. 

While most of us can survive without wearing a mask, pretending that pandemic is over because we are in good health, it is important to remember that not everyone is afforded that luxury. Many people within the United States population, including the immunocompromised, elderly and those with unique health risks, cannot battle such a deadly disease. We must continue to look out for them.

But we should cut President Biden some slack considering the work that his administration has done to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Not only did the Biden administration develop a comprehensive COVID-19 preparedness plan with the help of medical professionals like Dr. Anthony Fauci, but they also managed to sign the American Rescue Plan into law, which broadened access to testing sites and vaccines across the United States.

To us, it seems that Biden’s claim was phrased poorly. While we cannot speak for the president, it appears that he may have meant to say that the height of the pandemic is over. While we have heard the latter claim before, stating “the pandemic is over” indicates a sense of finality that we have not heard since the pandemic began in 2020.

Biden should have chosen to say that the “pandemic is better” instead. If this were the case, we may not have seen such a public outcry. Considering Biden’s conclusion that the pandemic is “changing” at the end of the 60 Minutes quote, we can infer that he is aware that the virus has not been eradicated. 

And while many of us regularly misspeak, we are able to clarify what exactly we meant to say. A public figure, especially the president of the United States, cannot easily take back what they said. 

Editor’s Note: The North Wind is committed to offering a free and open public forum of ideas, publishing a wide range of viewpoints to accurately represent the NMU student body. This is an editorial, written by the North Wind Editorial Board in its entirety. It reflects the majority views of the individuals who make up the editorial staff of the North Wind. It is the policy of the Editorial Board not to endorse candidates for any political office, in order to avoid aligning this public forum with particular political organizations.