GOP Senators Push Back On COVID Funds Request After Biden Says 'Pandemic Is Over'

Senate Republicans expressed skepticism over whether COVID-19 funding is still necessary following President Joe Biden’s recent comments declaring the end of the

pandemic. Earlier this month, the White House put an updated request through for $22.4 billion to spend on vaccines, testing and therapeutics, among other things, as part of

a short-term continuing resolution. “This funding is vital to our ability to protect and build on the progress we’ve made,” wrote Shalanda Young, director of the Office of

Management and Budget, in a blog post for the White House website on Sept. 2. But this funding may now be in jeopardy after Biden’s remarks. Asked if the pandemic is

over, Biden replied that it is. “We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it … but the pandemic is over,” Biden told “60 Minutes” in a segment

that aired Sunday.  “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,” President Biden tells 60

Minutes in an interview in Detroit. https://t.co/7SixTE3OMTpic.twitter.com/s5fyjRpYuX— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) September 19, 2022 Biden’s comments drew the attention of

Republican lawmakers, who seized on the opportunity to question the need for additional COVID-19 funds. “If it’s over, then I wouldn’t suspect they need any more money,”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told CNN.  Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who had helped negotiate a bipartisan $10 billion deal for COVID-19 money that failed to pass the Senate

this past spring, told CNN he did not see a way through for any kind of pandemic-related funding with GOP support.