Biden to end COVID-19 emergencies on May 11

The government will consider the virus an endemic threat to public health and can be managed through normal authorities.

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden notified Congress on Monday that he will end a dual national emergency to tackle COVID-19 on May 11, as most of the world has returned to near state. normally almost three years from the time they were first declared.

The move to end the national emergency and declare a public health emergency will formally restructure the federal coronavirus response to treat the virus as a threat. endemic to public health can be managed through the usual authorities.

It comes as lawmakers have ended elements of the emergency that left millions of Americans covered during the pandemic. Combined with the withdrawal of most of the federal COVID-19 relief money, it would also move vaccine and treatment development away from the direct federal government.

Biden’s announcement came in a statement opposing resolutions introduced by House Republicans this week to end the emergency immediately. House Republicans are also preparing to launch investigations into the federal government’s response to COVID-19.

Then-President Donald Trump first declared the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency on March 13, 2020. The state of emergency has been extended by Biden several times since he took office in January 2021 and will expire in the coming months. The White House said Biden plans to extend both shortly to end May 11.

“The abrupt end of emergency declarations would create widespread chaos and instability throughout the health care system — for states, for hospitals and doctors’ offices, and most importantly for tens of millions of Americans,” the Office of Management and Budget wrote in its Statement of Management Policy.

Congress has downsized the scope of the public health emergency that has had the most direct impact on Americans, as political calls to end the declaration grow. For months, lawmakers have refused to comply with the Biden administration’s request for billions of dollars more to extend free COVID testing and vaccines. And the $1.7 trillion spending package passed last year and signed into law by Biden ended a rule barring states from evicting people from Medicaid, a move that is expected to leave millions out of insurance. after April 1st.

The cost of COVID-19 vaccines is also expected to skyrocket after the government stops buying them, with Pfizer saying it will charge up to $130 per dose. Only 15% of Americans have received recommendations, enhanced updates have been provided since last fall.

After the state of emergency expires, those with private insurance will have to pay some of the costs for vaccines, tests and treatment themselves, while those without insurance will have to pay the full cost of the emergency. that cost.

Lawmakers have expanded the flexibility of telehealth introduced as COVID-19 hits, leading healthcare systems across the country to routinely offer care over the phone smart or computer.

The Biden administration had previously considered ending the state of emergency last year, but postponed it due to concerns about the potential for a “winter spike” in cases and to provide enough time for the emergency response. Providers, insurers, and patients prepare to end this condition.

A senior administration official said the three months until the expiration would mark a transition period during which the administration would “begin the smooth running of the flexibilities enabled by the declare a COVID-19 emergency.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the announcement before it was made public.

More than 1.1 million people in the United States have died from COVID-19 since 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including about 3,700 people last week.

Case numbers tend to decline after a slight increase during the winter break and are significantly below levels seen over the past two winters — despite the number of virus tests performed and reported to officials. public health has plummeted. Biden to end COVID-19 emergencies on May 11

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