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President Joe Biden during an interview that aired on Sunday said the Covid-19 pandemic was over, stating that people no longer wore masks and that life had gotten back to normal.
Speaking during a "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday on CBS, the president said, “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. If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it’s changing.”
Mr. Biden's comments come as the virus continues to kill hundreds in the U.S., mostly older and immunocompromised individuals on a daily basis, according to a report on the Wall Street Journal, which cited data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the CDC data, the U.S. recently averaged about 320 new daily Covid-19 deaths, and the average was above 400 before the Labor Day holiday weekend. The rate is far below the height of the pandemic when the daily total rose above 2,500. However, the recent average topping 300 deaths per day is above lows reached in 2021 during a lull when the average was near 200, according to CDC data.
The U.S. Virgin Islands has long moved from the pandemic to endemic phase of the virus, an announcement made by the V.I. Dept. of Health since May. At the time, Dept. of Health Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Tai Hunte-Ceasar, said the territory was "entering into a state of endemicity where Covid-19 will continuously be prevalent throughout the territory and Covid levels will rise depending on the level of activity and variants circulating among the community."
As of Sept. 16, there were 165 active Covid-19 cases in the U.S. Virgin Islands, including 112 on St. Croix, 51 on St. Thomas, and 2 on St. John. The territory's seven-day positivity rate stood at 6.77 percent. Total deaths from the onset of the pandemic stood at 123: 66 on St. Thomas, 52 on St. Croix, and 5 on St. John, according to D.O.H. data.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a disease is endemic when it is a constant presence in a population, follow predictable patterns and occur at an expected, baseline level. "To put it another way, an endemic disease is consistently present, but it spreads at predictable rates that can be managed by communities," said the CDC.
The seasonal Influenza, for example, is an endemic disease in the United States. Malaria is an endemic in many parts of the world, with 229 million cases reported 2019.