The Biden administration plans to end coronavirus-related national and public health emergencies in May, signaling a new approach to how the federal government views Covid nearly three years after the pandemic began.
Existing emergency declarations would be extended through May 11 and then expire, the White House said in a statement Monday. Advance notice is designed to give states, health care providers, and hospitals sufficient time to adjust to changes.
The move to ease the state of emergency, first enacted by the Trump administration on Jan. 27, 2020, was announced in response to a pair of Republican-controlled House bills that would have immediately ended the statements.
The White House said it was against the GOP’s timing, arguing that ending 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, doctor’s offices and patients.
Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., who introduced one of two measures the White House opposed, said in a statement that President Joe Biden “took too long to act on his statement last September that the pandemic is finished. “
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., who introduced the measure to end the Trump National Emergency passed in March 2020, tweeted“There’s no reason to wait.”
In a separate statement, the White House threatened to veto a GOP-backed bill that would eliminate the Covid vaccination mandate for some healthcare workers.
“Although COVID-19 is no longer the disruptive threat it once was, it doesn’t make sense for Congress to undo this protection for vulnerable patients, as well as our healthcare workers who have given so much to protect us,” she said. White House. said in a policy note from the administration.
None of the measures would need to be adopted by the Senate if approved by the House.
The World Health Organization, which declared the pandemic in 2020, said on Monday that Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus acknowledged recent ‘WHO committee views that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely at a tipping point. transition”.
Thousands of people in the United States continue to die from the coronavirus virus every week, but the figure has dropped significantly in the past two years.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,756 people died from Covid last week, compared to about 22,500 people in the last week of January 2021 and about 17,000 in the same period last year.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com