MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan and White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain duked it out Tuesday night over President Joe Biden’s comments about the pandemic.
Biden said during a September “60 Minutes” interview that the COVID-19 pandemic was “over.”
“The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over,” Biden said.
Hasan pressed Klain on the comments Tuesday.
“Around 11,000 Americans died in the past month from COVID, hospitalizations ticking up, hundreds of people still dying every day, long COVID affecting 1 in 5 people who got COVID, according to the CDC. How can your boss, the president, say the pandemic is over?”
Klain argued Hasan was taking Biden “out of context.”
“The next sentence he said after that was that we have a lot more work to do on COVID,” Klain said. “There’s no question we’re in a very different place than we were two years ago.” (RELATED: Biden Declaring The Pandemic ‘Over’ Stunned White House Officials: REPORT)
“But the pandemic is not over?” Hasan asked, cutting Klain off. “Just to be clear, you’re accusing me of taking him out of context. Is the pandemic ‘over’ or not?”
“The fight against COVID certainly isn’t over,” Klain said before Hasan once again interjected.
“But the pandemic’s over, in your view?” Hasan pressed.
Klain said that while current COVID-related deaths are “tragic,” they are “now preventable in a way they weren’t two years ago,” due to vaccines and treatments.
Hasan then argued that Biden’s comments about the pandemic being over are partly to blame for Americans reluctance to take another booster shot.
“That is a real problem, is it not, if people are not getting boosted?” Hasan asked. “That is a failure of your administration.”