Biden administration renews COVID-19 public health emergency again

by sam

Samuel Case, FISM News

  

The Biden administration announced another extension of the COVID-19 state of emergency Wednesday despite President Joe Biden saying in September that the pandemic was over.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra made the announcement on Wednesday in a declaration titled, “Renewal of Determination that a Public Health Emergency Exists.”

It reads as follows: 

As a result of the continued consequences of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, on this date and after consultation with public health officials as necessary, I, Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, pursuant to the authority vested in me under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, do hereby renew, effective January 11, 2023, the January 31, 2020, determination by former Secretary Alex M. Azar II, that he previously renewed on April 21, 2020, July 23, 2020, October 2, 2020, and January 7, 2021, and that I renewed on April 15, 2021, July 19, 2021, October 15, 2021, January 14, 2022, April 12, 2022, July 15, 2022, and October 13, 2022, that a public health emergency exists and has existed since January 27, 2020, nationwide.

“There’s still a lot of COVID out there, and the public health emergency and his determination gives us tools to fight this,” White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha told CNN.

The renewed health emergency contradicts previous comments by the president, who told “60 Minutes” in September, “the pandemic is over.”

The public health emergency was renewed a month after the “60 Minutes” interview on October 13, 2022. 

Wednesday’s announcement marks the 12th extension of the public health emergency since January 2020. The latest extension is set to expire on April 11, 2023, HHS told CNET.

Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), a medical doctor and veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve, called for the end of the public health emergency, pointing out that the Senate has twice passed a resolution he authored that would end the declaration.

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