President Biden told Congress on Monday that he would end ongoing national emergency declarations related to the COVID-19 pandemic on May 11.
The announcement came after House Republicans unsuccessfully attempted to end the emergency declarations right away. The president said the extra time would allow for an orderly winding down of the emergency situation.
The Trump administration previously declared national and public health emergencies that had been set to expire in March and April.
The public health emergency has been renewed every 90 days since it was declared in 2020.
“An abrupt end to the emergency declarations would create wide-ranging chaos and uncertainty throughout the health care system — for states, for hospitals and doctors’ offices, and, most importantly, for tens of millions of Americans,” the White House said in a Monday statement.
More than 1.1 million people in the U.S. have died of COVID since 2020, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last week, the 7-day average in the U.S. dropped to 42,163 cases, the agency said. Reported cases have been much lower than the previous two winters.
Among the many changes that will come after the emergencies end, the feds will stop buying COVID vaccines and mailing free at-home tests to anyone who requests them. Many will likely lose access to Medicaid after states become eligible to once again unenroll people from the program.
“To be clear, continuation of these emergency declarations until May 11 does not impose any restriction at all on individual conduct with regard to COVID-19,” the administration stated.
“They do not impose mask mandates or vaccine mandates. They do not restrict school or business operations. They do not require the use of any medicines or tests in response to cases of COVID-19.”
With News Wire Services
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