KJP: Biden didn’t mean pandemic was over, was walking through car show

Karine Jean-Pierre suggests Biden didn’t mean the COVID pandemic is ‘over’ – and blames comment on him ‘walking around the Detroit car show’ at the time, as West Wing is forced to claw back more of his 60 Minutes interview

  • White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday President Joe Biden didn’t mean the pandemic is ‘over’ when he said just that to 60 Minutes 
  • She said when he made those comments ‘he was walking through the Detroit car show, the halls of the Detroit car show, and he was looking around’ 
  • ‘We have to remember the last time that they had held that event was three years ago,’ she continued 
  • By ‘over’ she suggested the president meant ‘we are in a different time’ and ‘we are now prepared’ 
  • Biden’s comment to 60 Minutes raised eyebrows, including from his top medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci
  • Fauci said Monday that the US is ‘not where we need to be’ on COVID because there is a ‘lack of a uniform acceptance of the interventions’ like vaccines
  • Fauci pointed out that only 67 percent of our population vaccinated and only one-half of those have received a single booster shot  

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday that President Joe Biden didn’t mean the pandemic is ‘over’ when he said just that during the 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday. 

‘So just to step back for a second, what we saw during that interview, 60 Minutes interview, when he made those comments, he was walking through the Detroit car show, the halls of the Detroit car show, and he was looking around,’ she explained on Morning Joe. ‘We have to remember the last time that they had held that event was three years ago.’ 

Jean-Pierre also pointed to the United Nations General Assembly, which Biden will address later this morning, noting that gathering hadn’t been fully an in-person event in three years. 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday that President Joe Biden didn't mean the pandemic is 'over' when he said just that during the 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday that President Joe Biden didn’t mean the pandemic is ‘over’ when he said just that during the 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday

President Joe Biden was 'walking through the Detroit car show,' when he made the COVID comments, Jean-Pierre said, pointing out that this was the first time in three years the car show had happened because 'we are now prepared' in how to handle the pandemic

President Joe Biden was ‘walking through the Detroit car show,’ when he made the COVID comments, Jean-Pierre said, pointing out that this was the first time in three years the car show had happened because ‘we are now prepared’ in how to handle the pandemic 

‘We are in a different time,’ she said. ‘We are now prepared. We know how to deal with this pandemic. It is now more manageable,’ she said, crediting the Biden White House for the change. 

Biden’s comment to 60 Minutes raised eyebrows, including from his top medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci. 

At a talk with the Center for Strategic and International Studies Monday, Fauci argued ‘we are not where we need to be if we’re going to be able to, quote, “live with the virus,” because we know we’re not going to eradicate it.’

‘We only did that with one virus, which is smallpox, and that was very different because smallpox doesn’t change from year to year, or decade to decade or even from century to century,’ Fauci continued. ‘And we have vaccines and infection that imparts immunity that lasts for decades and possibly lifetime.’ 

The U.S., according to Fauci, was still under-vaccinated for COVID.   

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday that the US is 'not where we need to be' on COVID because there is a 'lack of a uniform acceptance of the interventions' like vaccines

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday that the US is ‘not where we need to be’ on COVID because there is a ‘lack of a uniform acceptance of the interventions’ like vaccines

‘How we respond and how we’re prepared for the evolution of these variants is going to depend on us,’ he said.  ‘And that gets to the other conflicting aspect of this – is the lack of a uniform acceptance of the interventions that are available to us in this country where even now, more than two years, close to three years, into the outbreak, we have only 67 percent of our population vaccinated and only one-half of those have received a single boost.’ 

Fauci noted how the U.S. is still experiencing, on average, 400 deaths per day due to COVID-19.  

Fauci is due to speak publicly Wednesday at the Atlantic Festival in Washington, D.C. 

Beyond Biden’s remarks on the coronavirus, the West Wing has also had to answer questions about the president’s affirmative answer on whether he’d put American boots on the ground if China attacked Taiwan. 

At Tuesday’s press briefing, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that Biden had been asked a ‘hypothetical question’ and his tough words to China did not represent a U.S. policy change.  

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