(CNN) -- The Biden administration is largely downplaying President Joe Biden's comments declaring the coronavirus pandemic "over," suggesting his remarks signal a continuation of the White House's evolving stance toward the pandemic over the past few months."The pandemic is over.
We still have a problem with Covid. We're still doing a lot of work on it. It's -- but the pandemic is over," Biden said during an interview with CBS "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday.
The comments caught some in the administration by surprise, according to two officials.A day later, an administration official told CNN that the President's comments do not mark a change in policy toward the administration's handling of the virus, and there are no plans to lift the Public Health Emergency, which has been in place since January 2020 and is currently extended through October 13.Last month, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adjusted its Covid-19 guidance to urge the nation away from measures such as quarantines and social distancing and instead focus on reducing severe disease from Covid-19.
But the agency says some people -- including those who are older, immunocompromised, have certain disabilities or underlying health conditions -- are at higher risk for serious illness and may need to take more precautions.Officials, including the President, have previously spoken about a new phase for the virus but have specifically said it is not yet over.