Vittert: No more pandemic means no more emergency powers

On Balance with Leland Vittert

(NewsNation) — You might have heard — the pandemic is over.

A virus that killed more than one million Americans, changed the economy and ruined lives. It’s over, or so says President Joe Biden, in an interview with CBS News’s “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday.

Really? Can we go back to normal life now? Well, not quite.

Remember, Biden on the campaign trail vowed to end COVID. Yet, when the pandemic ends he announces it on “60 Minutes” and heads off to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.

No White House event, no big celebration with school kids unmasked.

The White House threw a celebration for the Inflation Reduction Act on the same day inflation exploded, but nothing for the end of COVID.

Perhaps that’s because his chief medical officer disagrees.

“We are not where we need to be if we’re going to be able to ‘live with the virus’ because we know we’re not going to eradicate it,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said recently.

Democrats disagree, too.

Medhi Hassan of MSNBC, responding to a picture of Biden maskless at the Detroit Auto Show, tweeted “One of the (many) reasons they’re not wearing masks is because people like Biden keep (falsely) telling them the pandemic is over.”

The left being mad at Biden for ending the pandemic doesn’t make a lot of sense. Shouldn’t Democrats be running on that? Of course, the problem with saying its over is then you can’t claim emergency pandemic powers.

No more universal mail-in voting, trillion in spending or Title 42 restrictions down on the border. How about firing unvaccinated teachers? If it’s not an emergency, you can’t fire people for not having the shot.

Republican Rep. Tom Massie tweeted this: “If ‘the pandemic is over’ as Biden says, then all of the President’s emergency powers predicated on a pandemic, all COVID vax mandates, the emergency powers of every governor, Emergency Use Authorizations, and the PREP act should all be voided tomorrow.”

I used to be a White House correspondent. An announcement like this usually involves weeks of planning, events, and messaging. An interview with “60 Minutes” involves hours of prep work, but not here. The president said the quiet part out loud.  

The White House communications team lucked out today. The president is flying back from London, and they don’t have to explain what he meant, nor do they have to explain why they still want pandemic powers after the president said the pandemic is over.

Save that thought for a second, because there is a new pandemic.  

The World Health Organization now says, “Climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity, and health professionals worldwide are already responding to the health harms caused by this unfolding crisis.”

Yes, the same WHO that covered up for China during the start of COVID and likely killed hundreds of thousands in the process. The same WHO that covered for China during the outbreak of the virus, and the same WHO that continues to obstruct an investigation into where the virus came from now echoes China’s talking points on climate change.

So, it’s wrong to talk about where the virus came from, but we must talk about climate change. Where climate change came from, of course, not who is causing it now — because that is China. The country emits more carbon dioxide than the United States, India and Japan combined.

No to mention, the head of the World Health Organization is one of China’s best friends.

China’s just fine with how Biden ended the pandemic because of what he didn’t say, never has said and likely never will — a 9/11-style commission to investigate the pandemic.

Instead, we’ll just move on to the next emergency, climate change, with China, excuse me, the World Health Organization leading the way.

Because that worked out so well the past two years.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not of NewsNation.

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