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WHO Says COVID-19 Pandemic Isn’t Over After Biden’s Controversial Remarks

The World Well being Group on Thursday stated that the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over, contradicting controversial remarks from President Joe Biden from earlier this week.

WHO Director-Common Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that some of the frequent questions he has been requested whereas on the United Nations Common Meeting in New York Metropolis this week is: “The place can we stand? Is the pandemic over?”

“We’ve got spent 2 1/2 years in an extended, darkish tunnel, and we’re simply starting to glimpse the sunshine on the finish of that tunnel,” Tedros stated at a press briefing. “However it’s nonetheless a great distance off, and the tunnel continues to be darkish with many obstacles that might journey us up if we don’t take care. All of us want hope that we are able to – and we’ll – get to the top of the tunnel and put the pandemic behind us. However we’re not there but.”

Tedros’ remarks come after he stated final week that the top to the COVID-19 pandemic is “in sight.” However Biden in a “60 Minutes” interview that aired on Sunday took it a leap additional, saying that the pandemic is “over.”

Cartoons on the Coronavirus

“The pandemic is over,” Biden stated. “We nonetheless have an issue with COVID. We’re nonetheless doing numerous work on it, however the pandemic is over. Should you discover, nobody’s sporting masks. Everyone appears to be in fairly fine condition.”

On Tuesday, he tried to make clear his remarks.

“The pandemic is, quote, ‘over,’ as I received criticized for saying,” Biden stated at a Democratic Nationwide Committee occasion. “Nevertheless it principally shouldn’t be the place it was.”

Tedros on Thursday appeared in settlement with the second a part of Biden’s remarks, saying that “we’re in a greater place than we’ve ever been.”

“The variety of weekly deaths continues to say no, and at the moment are simply 10% of what they have been on the peak in January 2021,” he stated. “Two-thirds of the world’s inhabitants is vaccinated, together with three-quarters of well being staff and older individuals. In most nations, restrictions have ended and life seems very similar to it did earlier than the pandemic.”

However he certified that assertion by including that “10,000 deaths every week is 10,000 too many when most of those deaths may very well be prevented.”

WHO doesn’t resolve whether or not an outbreak is a pandemic or not. As a substitute, it decides if occasions are a public well being emergency of worldwide concern, which it declared for COVID-19 in January 2020.

Requested whether or not there are standards for methods to revoke such an emergency declaration, Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19, stated that “is beneath energetic dialogue.”

“We’re engaged on ending the emergency in each nation,” Van Kerkhove stated. “As this can be a world downside, we have to finish this at a world degree.”

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