President Joe Biden spoke recently on the television show 60 Minutes at the Detroit Autoshow.
When asked if the pandemic is over, Mr. Biden replied, “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with Covid[-19]. We are still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over. If you notice no one is wearing masks. Everyone seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it’s changing. And I think this is a perfect example of it.”
Infection Control Today® (ICT®) reached out to Ambassador Deborah Birx, MD, to get her opinion on President Biden’s words based on her expertise on infectious diseases and her history of working for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Department of State.
Beginning Ambassador Birx's reply to Mr. Biden’s response when he was questioned whether the pandemic is over.
4:01 Absolutely no doubt that the numbers decry that the COVID-19 is over, but perhaps Biden meant that the mask-wearing, the fear, the anxiety of the pandemic is over. Birx responds.
8:42 Why is Infectious disease “not popular” to get the funding it needs?
12:01 Birx begins her slideshow of data.
23:23 Is some of the data not being collected because individuals do not always go to the hospital or the doctor if they have an infectious disease?
27:57 Do medical investigators not get the data they need because individuals don’t go to the doctor because individuals don’t have the money?
31:30 Birx replies to whether the data issue is a money problem.
33:34 Birx’s message to the President of the United States and to the citizens of the United States.
Birx shows ICT®'s viewers the published data, describes the work she has done combating HIV and how it translates to SARS-CoV-2, and whether the US and the CDC have a money problem for research.
BIrx also speaks directly to Mr. Biden: "I would say, 'Do what you said, you had a good plan. You need to use data and science, you need to get the data and you need to do the science. You have highly capable people within the federal government and within the state and local governments that can help you do this. So talk to Republicans, talk to Democrats, and really create a pandemic response program built off what we know today. And find out how to make a better future. Treat every hospitalization and death as a federal failure of programming. And you'll figure out how to fix it. I know they're smart people there. I know they will know what to do, but they need the data. And they need the political will to make it happen."
To the American public, Birx also implores: "Get boosted with a new booster but understand that doesn't make you into Superman. So if there's a surge, make sure, if you have someone with comorbidities, protect them. Know they have to mask. Know they have to get tested. Get them Paxlovid. Get them the treatment that they need. We can save American lives. We just need to do it together."
View the full interview with Birx above to hear more about her outlook on the COVID-19 pandemic now and the future.