WH touts progress on COVID, pushes Congress for more funding

After a “60 Minutes” interview in which President Biden declared “the pandemic is over,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre spotlighted the administration’s efforts to fight the outbreak. Jean-PIerre acknowledged that COVID-19 is still “a problem,” and urged Congress to pass legislation that would fund vaccines and treatments to continue to fight the coronavirus.

Video Transcript

- The top Senate Republican on the Health Committee sent a letter to the White House related to the president's comments about the pandemic being over on "60 Minutes," saying there are contradictory policies in place. If that's the case, but offset emergency funding enforcement vaccine mandates, continued Federal Emergency declarations. The White House had a response to that in terms of word positive [INAUDIBLE]?

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: So the President said, and he was very clear in his "60 Minutes" interview, that COVID remains a problem and we're fighting it. And we have to continue to make sure that we are fighting this once in a generation pandemic. And so here's the thing. What he believes is we can acknowledge that the massive amount of progress that we have made.

Just think about where we were when this president walked into this administration. Where, again, a response to this once in a generation pandemic was mismanaged by the last administration. Now if you look at today, 220 million people are fully vaccinated, and now we are in a place where it is a lot more manageable.

Where we know what works, there are tests, there are treatments, there are vaccine as I just laid out. So we know what works. We know the tools that are out there to fight COVID. And for over six months, for over six months, Congress has been made abundantly aware, as have all of you.

You've heard us speak of this. You've heard from the experts. You've heard from our doctors of our need for the funding to ensure we have access to these tools and continue to have access to these tools. And for over six months, there have been new excuses for why they do not want to ensure that the US remains on the front foot-- on the front foot.

Let's think about it. And Jake mentioned this, about how we have to be prepared for the next generation of vaccines and treatments. We have to be prepared for the next potential pandemic, ensuring that we're leading the way when it comes to research, when it comes to development, when it comes to innovating, and keeping testing readily accessible.

So ultimately, if we lose these things, we have to ask them, we have to ask Republicans, why didn't they act? And so that is how we're going to continue to move forward on this. We believe this COVID funding is incredibly important for how we move into the future and fighting pandemics.