Biden says he doesn’t think coronavirus is here to stay
President Biden on Friday said he doesn’t think the coronavirus is here to stay, but added that he does think it will remain around the world.
“No, I don’t think COVID is here to stay, but having COVID in the environment here and in the world is probably here to stay,” he told reporters at the White House.
“COVID as we’re dealing with it now is not here to stay, the normal doesn’t have to be. We have so many more tools we developed and we continue to develop that can contain COVID and other strains of COVID,” the president added.
The president’s comments come amid a severe surge of the coronavirus in the U.S. and across the globe due to the highly transmissible omicron variant. The country has seen a dramatic increase in cases after the holidays when Americans gathered with their families indoors.
Federal health officials have encouraged unvaccinated Americans to get inoculated against the disease, and for fully vaccinated individuals to get a booster shot if they are eligible.
This week, the White House has remained steadfast that the goal is to defeat the virus.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was questioned on Thursday about an article from former advisory board members for Biden’s health transition team that called for a new pandemic strategy to embrace living with a new normal.
“The president’s goal is to defeat the virus,” she said when asked again if the president believes COVID-19 is here to stay.
On Friday, Biden pointed to the fact that 90 percent of schools are currently open and attributed that to the funds in the American Rescue Act, which he signed into law in March. He also noted that the U.S. has had 300 million tests per month so far, which equates to 11 million tests per day.
“We’re going to be able to control this. The new normal is not going to be what it is now, it’s going to be better,” the president said.
The White House announced last month it will deliver 500 million COVID-19 test kits to homes upon request, which Biden also referenced Friday.
Plans to deliver them are reportedly being finalized between the White House and the U.S. Postal Service and officials hope to start shipping them out by mid-January.