The administration walked back Biden’s declaration on ’60 Minutes’ Sunday ‘The pandemic is over’
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with members of the White House COVID-19 Response Team on the latest developments related to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in the South Court Auditorium at the White House complex in Washington, U.S., January 4, 2022. (REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)
PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Laura Barron-Lopez said that Dr. Anthony Fauci and other administration officials are acting as “translators” for President Biden during her appearance on CNN’s “Inside Politics with John King.”
Barron-Lopez argued that Biden’s remarks on CBS’s “60 Minutes” this past weekend, in which he declared that the COVID-19 pandemic is “over,” left White House officials scrambling to clean up his messaging. This scramble undermined Biden’s authority, she argued.
“I mean, we’ve essentially left people like the Surgeon General, like Anthony Fauci, to have to go out there, this — you know, in the past few days, to say, ‘Well, this is actually what the president meant,’ meaning that he is saying that — you know, they’re being translators, which doesn’t look good for President Biden,” she said.
“”It isn’t good for the White House, particularly when there are roughly 300 people dying a day of Covid,” she continued.
This is not the first time – or even the only example from the “60 Minutes” interview – that White House officials have contradicted or walked back the Commander-in-Chief’s comments after he spoke.
On the issue of Taiwan, Biden committed on “60 Minutes” that U.S. troops would defend the island if China invaded it. However, on Tuesday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan walked back Biden’s comments, reiterating that U.S. policy on Taiwan has not changed.
Fauci explained Biden’s COVID comments in an interview with Politico Monday, “What he really meant is that the very severe stage of the pandemic of having … 3,000 deaths a day — that stage is no longer present … people should not be cavalier that we’re out of the woods.”
Some, such as Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn, have seized the moment in response to Biden’s declaration. On Monday, Blackburn introduced legislation that would protect religious members of the military from facing further discrimination due to their vaccine status.
Others, however, such as the liberal NPR, New York Times, and the Washington Post have criticized Biden for stating the pandemic has ended.
Joe Silverstein is a production assistant for Fox News Digital.