Fact Check: The COVID-19 Pandemic Is NOT Over

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: The COVID-19 Pandemic Is NOT Over Wrong Numbers

Is the COVID-19 pandemic over? No, that's not true: The World Health Organization (WHO), which declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020, said in late October 2021 that the global pandemic is still "far from finished." An opinion article making the opposite claim cites incorrect vaccination statistics. It correctly reports that the number of new daily COVID cases in the United States has dropped sharply since September.

The article (archived here) was published by The Washington Times on November 9, 2021. Titled "Biden team won't admit it, but the COVID-19 pandemic is over," the article opened:

The Biden administration has justified its new COVID-19 vaccination mandate as an "emergency power." But just where is the emergency?

This is what users on social media saw at the time of writing:

As support for its claim, the article declares that some 72% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 64% is fully vaccinated. It claims that close to 81% of Americans over the age of 18 have been fully vaccinated.

Those numbers are not correct.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which tracks vaccinations, 67.7% of the total U.S. population has received at least one dose. Roughly 58.5% of the total population is fully vaccinated, while that number jumps to 70.3% when you look at the population over the age of 18. See below:


Although the article got its vaccination numbers wrong, it correctly states that the number of new daily COVID cases in the United States has dropped sharply since September. The CDC also tracks those numbers, which can be seen here.

Public health emergencies are declared by local, state and national governments. Pandemics, infectious disease outbreaks that cross international boundaries, are declared by multi-national organizations. The WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020. Last month, its emergency committee met and concluded that the pandemic is not over. In a statement, dated October 26, 2021, the WHO wrote:

The Committee underlined that, while progress has been made through increased uptake of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, analysis of the present situation and forecasting models indicate that the pandemic is far from finished.

The emergency committee is expected to meet again in three months.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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