WASHINGTON (UPDATE) — US President Joe Biden said in an interview aired Sunday that the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is over.
With COVID-19 restrictions largely eliminated in the country and travel having rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, the comments were reflective of the current status of much of US society.
"The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We're still doing a lot of work on it... but the pandemic is over," Biden told the CBS news program "60 Minutes" in an interview taped as he walked the floor of the Detroit Auto Show last week.
"If you notice, no one's wearing masks," Biden said, gesturing around the hall.
"Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it's changing."
The President's remarks, however, come only a few weeks after his administration asked Congress for billions of dollars in funding to maintain its testing and vaccine programs through a potential fall wave.
The visit to Michigan last week by Biden, a self-professed "car guy," boosted the profile of the Detroit gathering, which is being held for the first time since 2019.
In a keynote speech, Biden highlighted recent legislation passed to support US automakers' shift to electric vehicles, as well as major new investments in semiconductor production.
© Agence France-Presse