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COVID-19 Pandemic Is Over, Biden Says


President Joe Biden said the COVID-19 pandemic is over, even though hundreds of deaths due to the infection are still being reported daily in the US.

"The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We're still doing a lotta work on it. It's-- but the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one's wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it's changing. And I think this [the Detroit Auto show] is a perfect example of it," the president said on CBS's "60 Minutes" interview that aired on Sunday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. The organization said last week that the pandemic is coming to an end, as the number of weekly reported deaths from COVID-19 — over 11,000 — was the lowest since March 2020.

"We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic. We are not there yet, but the end is in sight," the WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during the press briefing.

For the past few weeks, the new COVID-19 cases have been on a downward trend in the US. Even so, tens of thousands of new infections are still being reported every day, with the current 7-day moving average being 59,856, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows.

Hospitalizations have also been decreasing. Currently, more than 4,000 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized every day.

Deaths increased again after slowly declining for a few weeks. As of September 14, the 7-day moving average of new deaths was 358 compared with 344 the previous week. The situation, however, is much better than in mid-January 2021, the pandemic's peak, when over 3,000 people died daily.

In the "60 Minutes" interview, Biden acknowledged the "profound impact" of the pandemic on Americans, including more than one million deaths due to COVID-19 in the US.

"Think of how that has changed everything. You know, people's attitudes about themselves, their families, about the state of the nation, about the state of their communities. And so there's a lot of uncertainty out there, a great deal of uncertainty. And we lost a million people. A million people to COVID," he said.

COVID–19 has had a long-term impact on health, quality of life, and work. A recent National Bureau of Economic Research analysis suggests that COVID-19 illnesses have reduced the US labor force by approximately 500,000 people, or 0.2 percent of adults.

Another study from the Brookings Institution reveals that 16.3 million working-age Americans aged 18 to 65 still suffer from long COVID-19 more than two years since the beginning of the pandemic. Among those, 2 to 4 million people are out of work due to the condition.

Resources:

CBS News. President Joe Biden: The 2022 60 Minutes Interview.

WHO. Media briefing on COVID-19 and other global health issues.

CDC. COVID Data Tracker.

National Bureau of Economic Research. THE IMPACTS OF COVID-19 ILLNESSES ON WORKERS.

The Brookings Institution. New data shows long Covid is keeping as many as 4 million people out of work.

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