By Charlie Spiering
President Joe Biden remains stubbornly opposed to lifting coronavirus restrictions, despite the way Europe is leading the way back to normal.
A group of United States governors meeting with Biden at the White House on Monday said afterward they pleaded with the president to outline a path out of the pandemic, rather than continuously extending ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
“We need to move away from the pandemic,” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters at the White House Monday after members of the National Governors Association met with the president. “And we asked the President to help give us clear guidelines on how we can return to a greater state of normality.”
Before the Q-and-A portion of the meeting, Biden indicated that the United States was not ready to loosen restrictions.
“We got a way to go on that, in my view, but we’re moving,” Biden said, hinting that governors should not jump ahead of the federal government on the strategy to reopen.
“I think it’s all about making sure we have the same standards we’re applying across the board,” he added.
Biden continues to remain cautious, even as many countries in Europe are lifting coronavirus restrictions.
Denmark made news Monday when the government lifted all of their coronavirus restrictions, including masking and social distancing rules, noting the virus was no longer a “critical threat.”
England and Ireland dropped most of their pandemic restrictions, including mandates for wearing masks and isolation for people testing positive for the virus. Even France announced their decision to loosen some of their restrictions, as symptoms of the omicron variant of the virus are less dangerous.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that restrictions would remain in place for now, noting surges of cases across the country.
“The President’s view is that right now, we still need to keep our heads down and stay at it, to fight what is still, you know, surging in parts of the country, but we do have the tools to get to a point where it does not disrupt our daily lives,” Psaki said during the White House press briefing.