“It makes it eminently harder for sure,” Senate Minority Whip John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, told CNN. “It also begs the question as to why (he’s approving) other pandemic-related measures, like student-loan forgiveness, cancellations.”
Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican and member of leadership, responded by saying, “If it’s over, then I wouldn’t suspect they need any more money.”
“I don’t think they were going to get any Covid money through anyway,” Burr said.
“The pandemic is over,” Biden said in the interview. “We still have a problem with Covid. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. It’s — but the pandemic is over.”
“Covid aid is not going to happen,” Sen. Mitt Romney, the Utah Republican who cut the $10 billion deal that stalled over the spring, told CNN. “Not with Republican votes.”
The White House has pushed to include Covid aid in the must-pass continuing resolution to keep government agencies afloat past this month, but there is virtually no chance that will happen now.
Democrats pushed back on Biden’s remarks.
“The variants are still out there,” said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin when asked about Biden’s comment. “We are all hoping it’s over — nobody is going predict with certainty it is. I’m not.”
Asked about Biden’s declaration, the Illinois Democrat added: “He may know more than I do. I’m sure he does.”
Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, said: “Covid is not over.” And he added: “We need aid.”
This story has been updated with additional developments Monday.