"In the face of this uncertainty, it would be reckless for the government to reduce its efforts to minimize new cases and help those who fall ill," the editorial board wrote in a piece titled, "Pretending the Pandemic Is Over Will Not Make It So." The authors added that Congress "failed" to pass $15.6 billion in funding for treatments and tests.
"The Biden administration is curtailing its efforts to combat the virus," the editors wrote, saying that it was due to the lack of funding. They argued that Congress must pass funding for tests, treatments and vaccines in order for them to be more readily available if another wave of COVID-19 hits Americans.
A bill passed earlier this month, which funded the government, originally included the $15.6 billion of COVID-19 aid. However, the editorial board wrote, "the funding was stripped because House Democrats were unable to resolve an internal squabble."
The authors said that "the bill would have repurposed unused money from earlier rounds of Covid aid," and added that some Democrats were set on new funding for COVID treatments.
The Senate, the board noted, would need several Republican votes to pass a brand-new bill, and the Senate Republicans are more likely to agree on using previously allotted funding.
"That should not be a deal breaker. States have received more federal aid in the past two years than they know what to do with; some state coffers are overflowing," they wrote, noting that some states are providing their citizens with some of the surplus cash.
Democratic states across the country have lifted most remaining pandemic restrictions, including mask and vaccine mandates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also announced looser mask guidance in late February for counties deemed to be low or medium risk based on their overall community risk.
During Biden's first State of the Union address, the president called for a return to normal and highlighted a "roadmap" to move safely forward.
"Tonight, I can say we are moving forward safely, back to more normal routines," Biden said during his speech. "It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again."