“People are really, really down,” Biden said in the interview, which the news service said lasted 30 minutes.
“They’re really down,” Biden said. “The need for mental health in America, it has skyrocketed, because people have seen everything upset. Everything they’ve counted on, upset. But most of it’s the consequence of what’s happened, what happened as a consequence of the Covid crisis.”
Well into his second year in office, Biden has struggled to improve his political standing amid rising prices for gas, food and other goods. Despite his administration’s efforts to contain the pandemic, the virus has continued to spread and disrupt everyday life.
The Biden administration has attempted to address the mental health crisis in different ways, including with Biden announcing that mental health would be part of his bipartisan “unity agenda” during his State of the Union address earlier this year.
Inflation has become a potent political liability for the President, who in the interview dismissed arguments that his large Covid relief package that was signed into law early in his presidency may have contributed to the problem. He told the AP that theory was “bizarre.”
Instead, Biden and the White House have largely blamed the broad economic impacts of the pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine for continued inflation woes.
She downplayed the inflationary impact of the stimulus package, pointing instead to the economy’s “miraculously rapid recovery.”