The White House argued Thursday that the sense of emergency surrounding the coronavirus pandemic would continue, despite some Democrats downplaying the level of concern over the virus.
During the daily briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki reacted to a comments from Colorado Democrat Gov. Jared Polis, who said in December that the “medical emergency” surrounding the virus was “over” because of vaccines.
Psaki indicated the White House felt Polis was premature in his statements because of the “science” behind the virus.
“I think the president of the United States has the responsibility not to make that statement until the data and the science backs it up,” she said.
Polis has told voters in his state he will not enact state-wide vaccine and mask mandates, leaving it up to localities to choose what’s best for their communities.
Psaki reminded reporters that Colorado was still receiving aid from the federal government to provide pandemic supplies like testing, masks, and vaccines to the state.
“That’s still a part of how they’re addressing the pandemic,” she said.
She asserted that the country was currently experiencing an “unprecedented surge” of coronavirus cases, disrupting the daily lives of Americans who “can’t go to concerts and restaurants” because of the virus.
But Psaki reassured Americans that the pandemic would not last forever, despite her reluctance to draw down the administration’s tone regarding the virus.
“COVID, as it is right now, is not going to be forever,” she said.
During a press conference on Wednesday, President Joe Biden indicated that the “new normal” would not take place until more people were vaccinated.
“I hope the new normal will be that we don’t still have 30-some million people not vaccinated,” he said. “I hope the new normal is people have seen — and what their own interest is — and have taken advantage of — of what we have available to us.”