NY Times editorial board warns of 'pretending the pandemic is over,' would be 'reckless' to reduce efforts

'Americans increasingly will have to rely on their own resources,' the New York Times editorial board wrote

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The New York Times editorial board cautioned against "pretending the pandemic is over" on Friday as many Americans begin the return to pre-COVID-19 normal. 

"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.    

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"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.  

FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2020, file photo sunlight shines on the U.S. Capitol building on Capitol Hill in Washington. President-elect Joe Biden wants to "restore the soul of America." First, he'll need to fix a broken and divided Congress. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2020, file photo sunlight shines on the U.S. Capitol building on Capitol Hill in Washington. President-elect Joe Biden wants to "restore the soul of America." First, he'll need to fix a broken and divided Congress. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

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."

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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.  

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks to reporters during her weekly news conference in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on Dec. 15, 2021 in Washington. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks to reporters during her weekly news conference in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on Dec. 15, 2021 in Washington. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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. 

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As President Biden’s tenure in the White House hits the 100-day milestone, media watchdogs and journalism professors alike have noticed that journalists are "overwhelmingly favorable, polite, and gentle" when covering the current administration. 

As President Biden’s tenure in the White House hits the 100-day milestone, media watchdogs and journalism professors alike have noticed that journalists are "overwhelmingly favorable, polite, and gentle" when covering the current administration.  (Getty Images)

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."