The Biden administration plans to end national and public health emergencies related to the coronavirus in May, signaling a new approach to how the federal government is looking at Covid, nearly three years after the start of the pandemic.
Existing emergency declarations would be extended until May 11 and then expire, the White House said in a statement Monday. The advance notice is intended to give states, healthcare providers and hospitals enough time to adapt to the changes.
The move to wind down the state of emergency, first implemented during the Trump administration, was announced in response to a couple- from bills in the Republican-controlled House that would immediately end the statements.
The White House said it was against the GOP timeline, arguing that ending emergency programs and policies now would “create widespread chaos and uncertainty” within the country’s health system and government operations, which extend to hospitals , doctors’ offices and patients.
The World Health Organization, which declared the 2020 global pandemic, said Monday that Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus acknowledged a WHO committee’s view that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely at a transition point.
Thousands of people still die from the coronavirus every week in the US, but the number has dropped significantly over the past two years.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,756 people died last week due to Covid, compared to about 22,500 people in the last week of January 2021 and about 17,000 during the same period last year.