Is the Pandemic ‘Over,’ or Not?

Biden reassures the public but won’t lift the official Covid emergency.

 

By The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)

Sept. 19, 2022

 

President Biden finally dared to say it on Sunday, declaring in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” that the “pandemic is over.” Various public-health eminences are saying he’s wrong, but his comments recognize the reality of the disease at this stage and the public mood. The trouble is that his Administration still hasn’t lifted its official finding of a Covid public-health emergency...

 

… for most Americans, Covid is no worse than a bad flu. “If you are up-to-date on your vaccines today, and you avail yourself of the treatments, your chances of dying [from] COVID are vanishingly rare and certainly much lower than your risk of getting into trouble with the flu,” White House Covid response coordinator Ashish Jha told National Public Radio.

 

But if that’s right, why hasn’t the President also declared an end to the public-health and national emergencies? If the pandemic is over, then so is the emergency. Yet the Administration continues to extend the public-health emergency that was first declared in January 2020.

 

The reason is almost certainly money. A March 2020 Covid law enables the government to hand out billions of dollars in welfare benefits to millions of people as long as the emergency is in effect…

 

… only weeks ago the Administration used a separate national emergency declaration related to the pandemic to legally justify canceling some $500 billion in student debt....

 

... he wants to retain the official emergency so he can continue to expand the welfare state and force states to comply...

 

more, with subscription

https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-the-pandemic-over-or-not-covid-public-health-emergency-joe-biden-60-minutes-11663623792