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Biden Laughs When Asked How He Got Pandemic Forecast ‘Wrong’: ‘Don’t Know’ If We’ll ‘Overcome’ COVID

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WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 22: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with his administration's Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force and private sector CEOs in the South Court Auditorium of the White House December 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. Biden spoke on measures the White House is using to mitigate supply chain bottlenecks, incentivizing new truck driver hirings and expanding domestic production
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Joe Biden laughed when asked during an ABC News interview this week how he got pandemic forecasts “wrong” and said that he does not know if the U.S. will overcome COVID-19, despite repeatedly pledging on the campaign trail to “shut down the virus.”

When asked by ABC News host David Muir if he “overpromised” when he said over the summer that Americans were closer than ever to having freedom from the pandemic, Biden responded by claiming that the statement was true at the time but that there was still a lot of that the administration and health experts do not know about the coronavirus.

Biden later said “we don’t know, we don’t know for certain” when the pandemic is going to end, how it’s going to happen, or if the U.S. will be able to “overcome” the pandemic.

“The vice president said in recent days that you didn’t see Delta coming, that you didn’t see Omicron coming,” Muir said. “How did you get it wrong?”

Biden responded by laughing and claiming that “nobody saw it coming, nobody in the whole world.”

Biden’s claim appears to contradict Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to the president, who said earlier this week that health officials “definitely saw variants coming” in response to comments made by Vice President Kamala Harris during a recent interview.

“We didn’t see Delta coming. I think most scientists did not — upon whose advice and direction we have relied — didn’t see Delta coming,” Harris told the Los Angeles Times in an interview. “We didn’t see Omicron coming. And that’s the nature of what this, this awful virus has been, which as it turns out, has mutations and variants.”

The Times reported:

President Biden celebrated “independence” from the virus in an upbeat July 4 speech, saying, “While the virus hasn’t been vanquished, we know this: It no longer controls our lives. It no longer paralyzes our nation. And it’s within our power to make sure it never does again.”

At the time, some public health experts warned that his optimism was premature, given that the Delta variant was already a significant threat. Harris denied that the administration declared victory prematurely, or ever.

“We have not been victorious over it,” Harris added. “I don’t think that in any regard anyone can claim victory when, you know, there are 800,000 people who are dead because of this virus.”

Fauci responded to Harris’ remarks during an interview on Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“We definitely saw variants coming,” Fauci said. “What was not anticipated was the extent of the mutations in the amino acid substitutions in omicron, which was really unprecedented.”

Biden later said during the interview that he wished that he had ordered hundreds of millions of additional needed tests much sooner than he did.

“I’ve ordered half a billion of the … test kits that are going to be available to be sent to every home in America if anybody wants them,” Biden said. “But the answer is, yeah, I wish I had thought about ordering a half a billion [tests] two months ago, before Covid hit here.”

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