EU drugs agency to Biden: The pandemic is not over

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The European Medicines Agency’s top scientist stated Tuesday that the pandemic is “ongoing” after U.S. President Joe Biden declared that the health crisis was over.

“I cannot honestly answer why President Biden came to that conclusion,” the regulator’s chief medical officer, Steffen Thirstrup, told journalists during a briefing.

“What is clear to me … is that we in Europe still consider the pandemic as ongoing, that it’s important that member states prepare for rollout of the vaccines, and especially the adaptive vaccines to prevent further spread of this disease in Europe,” Thirstrup added.

In an interview that aired late on Sunday in the U.S., Biden declared: “The pandemic is over,” adding: “We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over.”

The off-the-cuff remark caught Biden’s own senior health officials by surprise. The U.S. president had not originally planned to make major news on COVID, nor had he discussed with his health advisers announcing an end to the pandemic soon, two senior officials said.

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