New declarations that ‘the pandemic is over’ once again miss the larger point, experts say

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“The pandemic is over.”

It’s a pronouncement we’ve heard several times in the more than 2½ years since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

As California enters fall with the coronavirus very much on the decline, some are once again declaring victory. But health experts say that despite the significant progress, it’s less about turning the page than about understanding that COVID-19 remains quite unpredictable.

The heat was recently turned up on the long-simmering question when President Biden declared “the pandemic is over” during an interview with “60 Minutes.” Days later, Biden acknowledged the criticism he received over his statement but added that the pandemic “basically is not where it was.”

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