WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Joe Biden was roundly mocked after the White House was forced once again to contradict a statement that he made during a CBS 60 Minutes interview on Sunday where he declared that the COVID-19 pandemic “is over.”
During his interview – the first time he has had a one-on-one sit-down with a journalist in over 200 days – CBS correspondent Scott Pelley asked Biden for an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, to which the President officially declared it to be a thing of the past.
“The pandemic is over,” Biden said. “We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. It’s…but the pandemic is over.”
However, the White House then issued a statement walking back the President’s claim, noting that nothing has changed in terms of how the Biden Administration is addressing the pandemic and that the emergency status that was implemented in January 2020 is currently still in effect until at least October 13 of this year and could be further extended if conditions warrant it.
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“The President’s comments do not mark a change in policy toward the administration’s handling of the virus, and there are no plans to lift the Public Health Emergency,” said a Biden Admin official to CNN.
This is the second time this week so far that the White House was forced to issue statements to clarify incorrect quotes that Biden has made to the media. During the same 60 Minutes interview this past Sunday, the President – for the third time since last October – reiterated his stance that the United States would come to the defense of Taiwan if it were attacked by China. However, that was a pledge that the White House immediately contradicted, as it ran afoul of the Admin’s current policy of non-military intervention with the Eastern Asian country.
The embarrassment of the constant correction of Biden’s media comments by his own officials was not lost on his critics, with The Spectator contributing editor Stephen Miller tweeting that “He is not in charge.”
“It wasn’t a gaffe. It wasn’t a slip. He said it pretty definitely twice. In the same interview he dared anyone who questioned his mental fitness. Here’s the example. Right here,” he continued. “Biden reportedly complains that he looks weak. This is why. His own administration undercuts him every time he opens his mouth. Is he in charge or not?”
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) also chimed in, tweeting, “Like clockwork. Biden’s handlers are out in force.”