Biden declares the Covid pandemic ‘is over’

·2 min read
US President Joe Biden accompanied by the First Lady Jill Biden arrive for a reception hosted by the King (Markus Schreiber/PA) (PA Wire)
US President Joe Biden accompanied by the First Lady Jill Biden arrive for a reception hosted by the King (Markus Schreiber/PA) (PA Wire)

President Joe Biden declared the Covid-19 pandemic ‘over’ and slammed his predecessor’s handling of highly classified documents in a wide-ranging interview with CBS News60 Minutes programme which aired on Sunday.

In a section of the pre-taped interview filmed during his visit to the Detroit, Michigan auto show last week, Mr Biden was asked by interviewer Scott Pelley if the return of the annual event meant the pandemic which had shuttered it for the last three years had come to a close.

The president replied: “The pandemic is over”.

He acknowledged that Covid is still “a problem” and said his administration is still “doing a lot of work on it,” but he said everyone at the show “seems to be in good shape” and cited the crowd as an example of how things are changing to a post-pandemic world.

Mr Biden also hit out at his predecessor, Donald Trump, for having hoarded more than 100 highly classified documents at his Palm Beach, Florida beach club.

Asked about his reaction to a FBI evidentiary photograph depicting multiple classified documents strewn about on the floor Mr Trump’s office at his Mar-a-Lago club, Mr Biden said he thought to himself: “How could that possibly happen — how ... anyone could be that irresponsible”.

“And I thought: What data was in there that may compromise sources and methods? By that I mean names of people who helped ... et cetera. And it’s just — totally irresponsible,” he said.

But Mr Biden stressed that he would not be involved in any decision to prosecute Mr Trump for hoarding the documents, which are by law federal government property. He also said he does not know what is contained in the documents because he does not want to “get [himself] in the middle of whether or not the Justice Department should move or not move on certain actions they could take”.