WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — President Joe Biden has announced he will end both of the United States’ COVID emergencies in May.
In a Monday statement of administration policy, the White House informed the House of Representatives that the current national and public health emergencies (which are set to expire on March 11 and April 1, respectively) would be renewed until May 11 but then allowed to expire on that day.
“This wind-down would align with the Administration’s previous commitments to give at least 60 days’ notice prior to termination of the [public health emergency],” the statement reads.
The White House issued the statement in response to a bill (H.R. 382) and joint resolution (H.J. Res. 7) that would have immediately ended the twin emergencies. In its statement, the White House claimed an immediate end to the emergencies “would create wide-ranging chaos and uncertainty throughout the health care system” and “end the Title 42 policy at the border,” a Trump-era measure allowing swift deportation of illegal immigrants during a public health emergency.
House Republicans who support ending the emergencies at once, however, implied that Biden’s decision to wait until May is rooted in ulterior political motives.
“Republicans already getting results. This week we are voting to end the COVID emergency. In response, Biden announces HE IS going to end the COVID-19 emergency declarations. Now that Biden is trying to avoid embarrassment, how will [D]emocrats vote?” tweeted Rep. Thomas Massie.
“Rather than waiting until May 11, the Biden administration should join us now in immediately ending this declaration,” said House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, as quoted in the New York Times. “The days of the Biden administration being able to hide behind COVID to waste billions of taxpayer dollars on their unrelated, radical agenda are over.”
The vast majority of U.S. states no longer have their own public health emergency declarations in place. Last December, half of the nation’s governors called on the Biden administration to repeal the emergency.
The U.S. government’s travel ban on foreigners unvaccinated against COVID currently remains in effect until April 10. No official announcement has yet been made on whether the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will let it expire on that day or extend the order until May 11.