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During her daily press briefing, Psaki was asked to address reports that the White House is deliberately changing its messaging around the coronavirus to focus on hospitalizations and deaths instead of the number of cases ahead of Biden’s speech on the pandemic set for Tuesday.
President Biden’s campaign pledge to "shut down" COVID-19 remains in question amid a surge in cases across the country. Biden pictured walking to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House Dec. 17, 2021. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
“The president talked in the past about ending COVID, but experts certainly seem to say that COVID may be here to stay much longer than that,” a reporter told Psaki. “Does the president share those views and will that be discussed tomorrow in any way?”
“Again, we’re still finalizing the speech,” Psaki responded, “so I can only really give you a preview of what we know to date, which is what I’ve already outlined here. Understand that certainly is a question out there and what it looks like, and we will continue to consult with our health and medical experts on that.”
President Joe Biden pledged on the campaign trail that he would "shut down the virus." So far, he has failed to fulfill that promise. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)
The reporter then asked Psaki plainly, “Does the president still feel like COVID can be ended?”
“His objective is to continue to make vaccines available, reduce cases around the – reduce hospitalizations and deaths across the country,” Psaki said, correcting herself, “and do that through making vaccines, testing and a range of utilities available.”