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Is the pandemic over?

President Biden said the pandemic is over during an interview with 60 Minutes this weekend
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Posted at 5:45 PM, Sep 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-20 20:25:14-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — This weekend, President Joe Biden was interviewed on 60 Minutes. In the interview, correspondent Scott Pelley, speaking with the President at the Detroit Auto Show, asked ‘is the pandemic over?’

“The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We're still doing a lotta work on it,” President Biden responded. “It's-- 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. And I think this is a perfect example of it.”

Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s Chief Medical Adviser, said, “We are not where we need to be if we are going to quote ‘live with the virus’. We still must be aware of how unusual this virus is and continues to be in its ability to evolve into new variants which defy the standard public health mechanisms of addressing an outbreak.”

Locally, testing numbers are down recently, and subsequently COVID-positive cases are down as well, according to Dr. Dante Gonzalez, the Assistant Director of Public Health for the Nueces County-Corpus Christi Health District.

“[Cases are] starting to go down,” Dr. Gonzalez said. “There was a peak, and in the last, I want to say week and a half, we’ve seen the number drastically go down.”

According to Nueces County COVID-19 data, as of Monday, the seven-day average for positive COVID-19 cases is 47 new cases per day. That number is down substantially from the six-month high of 262 new cases averaged per day as of July 11.

Dr. Gonzalez credits the drop in cases on vaccine availability.

“Everybody knows it is not a 100% shield, or a bubble that keeps you from getting COVID, but it certainly is a tool and a weapon against COVID-19, in the sense that it helps you recover much faster,” he said.

“I never had any fear of the pandemic in the beginning. I did get the two shots and I did go get the booster shot,” said Lance Kelley Smithers, a local resident.

Smithers was never afraid of getting sick, because he said he rarely ever gets sick. However, he knows others might want to remain cautious.

“People want to protect themselves and continue to wear masks,” he said.

Tom Osben still wears a mask when he goes out, to protect his wife and daughter.

“Every place I go, hardly anyone wears a mask anymore,” he said.

Osben thinks the pandemic is coming to an end, but believes it is far from being over.

“I hope we’re near the end, so we don’t get anymore cases,” he said.