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Tipsheet

Dr. Jha Doesn't Want Us to Believe Our Lying Ears on Biden Saying 'Pandemic Is Over'

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

During Tuesday's White House press briefing, Dr. Ashish Jha made an appearance, during which he was reminded by a reporter that President Joe Biden had said during a "60 Minutes" interview from last month that "the pandemic is over."

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The reporter asked "what the message is for Americans as we head into the winter months" and "can they behave as though it's business as usual as long as they are vaccinated?"

Dr. Jha's response was to emphasize a much different part of the interview than what took away from it, as he pointed out that "the president was very clear, COVID is not over." He added "there's a lot of work to do" and "we still have 300-400 Americans dying every day." He repeated the call for people to get vaccinated.

While Biden indicated in the interview that "we still have a problem with COVID," it's important to point out that what he emphasized, even saying so repeatedly, is that "the pandemic is over."

Dr. Jha was continuing the narrative of White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who during the September 20 press briefing similarly responded that "the president... was very clear in his '60 Minutes' interview that COVID remains a problem and we're fighting it." She then went on to call for more COVID funding from Congress, claiming it "is incredibly important for how we move into the future in fighting pandemics."

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Further, when it comes to the reporter's question about "business as usual," polling shows that Americans are already behaving as much. 

The final Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index, which was released shortly before the "60 Minutes" interview aired, highlighted how the 57 percent of adults who said they were concerned about COVID was "among the lowest captured throughout the pandemic." Nearly two-thirds of respondents, at 65 percent, said there is a small or no risk to returning to their normal, pre-COVID life. The 46 percent who said they had already returned to their normal, pre-COVID life was more "than at any point during the pandemic," the highlights also noted. 

A Monmouth University poll released last month also showed that was conducted shortly after the "60 Minutes" interview found that among the top 12 issues adults were asked to select as important priorities, "Covid pandemic" came in 11th place. Just 32 percent said it was "extremely" or "very important."

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