Biden plans to end the Covid public health emergency this spring in a major shift to federal response
The Biden administration in May plans to end national and public health emergencies tied to the coronavirus, signaling a new approach to how the federal government views Covid almost three years after the pandemic started.
Existing emergency declarations would be extended until May 11 and then expire, the White House said in a statement Monday. The advance notice is designed to give states, health care providers and hospitals enough time to adjust to the changes.
The move to wind down the emergency status, first implemented by the Trump administration on Jan. 27, 2020, was announced in response to a pair of bills in the Republican-controlled House that would immediately end the declarations.
The White House said it opposed the GOP timeline, arguing that ending the emergency programs and policies now would “create wide-ranging chaos and uncertainty” within the country’s health care system and government operations, which extend to hospitals, doctors’ offices and patients.
Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., who introduced one of the two measures opposed by the White House, said in a statement that President Joe Biden “has taken too long to take action on his statement last September that the pandemic is over.”