Mr. President, the pandemic is not over


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The WHO admits the pandemic is not over but the end of it is near.

President Biden sat with American journalist Scott Pelley for a CBS News 60 minutes on Sept. 19. Throughout this interview, Pelley and Biden discussed various controversial topics, such as inflation, China and Taiwan as well as student loan relief. Still, Biden and Pelley’s discussion of COVID-19 caused quite a stir in the days following the interview. 

“The pandemic is over,” Biden said. “We still have a problem with COVID, we are still doing a lot of work on it, but the pandemic is over.” 

While cases are on a downward trend per CDC data, this pandemic is not yet over and perhaps it never will be. 

According to the CDC, the United States has an average of 50,000 new cases each day and over 20,000 current hospitalizations.  

Additionally, only 68% of the U.S. is fully vaccinated, as specified by USA Facts. Over a quarter of the nation remains unprotected against the coronavirus. 

Even the World Health Organization admits this pandemic is not over. 

“We’re not there yet, but the end is in sight,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, in a news briefing on Sept. 14. 

The president’s words seemed to be poorly chosen, given that the COVID-19 pandemic enabled the Biden administration to implement student loan debt relief through the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROS) Act of 2003. 

The HEROS Act states that the secretary of education can grant student relief during times of war, military operations and national emergencies. 

However, whether you agree with Biden’s relief plan or not, if Biden claims the pandemic is over, is his argument for debt relief still valid? 

On the bright side, a little closer to home, DeKalb County is at a low level of coronavirus cases, according to the DeKalb County Health Department

With mask mandates lifted, homecoming events beginning and the holidays in sight, it is essential to remember what it was like at the start of the pandemic. 

This is not the time to suddenly believe the pandemic is over – this is the time to start gearing up for the winter season when disease runs rampant. No one wants to go back to wearing masks in class or in the workplace. 

Those cold winter months are looming just around the corner, and many are worried about another wave of COVID-19 cases sweeping through with the flu and cold season. 

The CDC encourages individuals to get the flu vaccine, be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and be aware of monkeypox symptoms.

While the ‘end’ may be near, it is not here yet. Let’s not be hasty and ruin the progress we have made so far.