Following several Republican governors’ calls to prematurely lift COVID-19 restrictions, President Joe Biden asked that states keep restrictions to fight against another impending viral surge.

“Our work is far from over. The war against COVID-19 is far from won. This is deadly serious,” Biden said. “Now is not the time to let down. Now is not the time to celebrate. It is time to do what we do best as a country: our duty, our jobs. Take care of one another, and fight this to the finish.”

When asked if states should pause reopening measures to which Biden said, “Yes.”

Biden’s remarks come after prominent lawmakers in Texas and Mississippi have moved to lift several of their state’s COVID-19 precautions including mask mandates. Biden’s comments follow numerous public super-spreader events as seen in Florida over the weekend where several hundred young people shirked restrictions and held a massive street party.

Biden was joined by Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky who agreed that, “We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope. I know what it’s like as a physician to stand in that patient room – gowned, gloved, masked, shielded – and to be the last person to touch someone else’s loved one because their loved one couldn’t be there.”

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