President Biden will end a national public health emergency and emergency declaration for Covid-19 on May 11, the White House said Monday, signaling a change in the nation’s approach to a pandemic that has exceeded 1.1 in the United States has claimed millions of lives
The public health emergency was first declared under the Trump administration in January 2020 and was extended by 90 days each time it was due to expire. The national health emergency and public health emergency are now scheduled to expire on March 1 and April 11, respectively, but the White House said the administration plans to extend declarations to May 11 and then “both emergencies on that date.” to end”.
The announcement comes as House Republicans stand ready to vote on a range of measures related to the pandemic, including two bills that would both end declarations of emergency.
Rep. Brett Guthrie (R., Ky.), the author of one of the measures, said in a news release that legislation was needed because an end to the emergency was “long overdue” and the government’s “inaction and lack of transparency.” this is unacceptable.”
The GOP-led Covid-19 proposals would face an uphill battle in the Senate, which remains under Democratic control.
The White House said the Biden administration is “strongly opposed” to an abrupt end to the Covid-19 emergency status and that it would have “two most significant implications for our country’s health care system and governance.”
The public health emergency designation allows for certain Covid-19 measures, such as: States are preparing for a major effort to reassess individuals’ Medicaid eligibility once the designation is revoked. Public health leaders say millions of beneficiaries could lose coverage.
House Republicans are also considering legislation to end a vaccination mandate for healthcare workers, which the White House said would “put patients at unnecessary risk.” The administration said Mr. Biden would veto the measure if it passed Congress.
Mr. Biden said in a TV interview in September that the pandemic was “over,” although he noted the virus was still a challenge and more work was needed to combat it. For public health officials, a new offshoot of the Covid-19 omicron variant that has sparked a new wave of infections in recent weeks has served as a reminder that the virus continues to mutate into more transmissible strains.
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Appeared in the January 31, 2023 print edition as “Health Emergency End Date Set.”