Governors from both political parties reportedly told President Joe Biden that America needs to “move away from the pandemic.”
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) told reports after the meeting that the bipartisan group of governors all agreed that the U.S. needs to move on from the pandemic.
“There’s a number of areas that we have full agreement on, and that is one: We need to move away from the pandemic,” Hutchinson said, adding, “and we asked the President to help give us clear guidelines on how we can return to a greater state of normality.”
Hutchinson added that the bipartisan group of governors wanted to “partner with the administration” to help the U.S. “move beyond the pandemic,” CNN reported.
When asked how the U.S. could move on when hospitalizations are at nearly an all-time high, Hutchinson responded that “Obviously, you can’t move away from a virus that’s still there. You can’t control that.” He added that “people are striving for more normal life.”
“I think we’ve moved to that very quickly,” the governor continued, “but we need to have the guidelines very clear as to how you actually structurally move from the pandemic state of things to an endemic where you’re managing this virus like you would other illnesses in our country.”
He also told reporters that there were “probably better measuring sticks” to tell how the U.S. is handling COVID-19 than case numbers, “which is hospitalizations, but how about the hospitalizations that are really caused by Covid.”
Hutchinson added that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were “working on giving us the right standards for that.”
Hutchinson made similar remarks on Sunday when he appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” The Daily Wire reported. Host Chuck Todd asked Hutchinson about seasonal waves of the coronavirus.
“So if we assume we’re going to get hit seasonally now, what do you need in the next five months before your summer – if it is another summer surge like you dealt with – what do you think needs to be done by the federal government to let you have the tools you need to handle your summer surge?” Todd asked.
Hutchinson responded by saying that cases are going on and the U.S. needs to focus on the infrastructure surrounding the pandemic as well as testing and therapeutics. He also insisted the country needs to move away from “panic mode”:
And I do believe that we need to move from a pandemic status and mode of operation, to more endemic, where we’re normalizing taking it very seriously, preparing, but I think we need to move out of the panic mode. I think we need to handle this to make sure that we continue with our normal lives.
Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ) also attended the meeting with governors and Biden, and said there was a “lot of good discussion about what does the road from pandemic to endemic look like? How do we keep score?”
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