Biden and the White House have informed Congress that the President intends to end the COVID-19 National Emergency and the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency on May 11. This comes after most of the world has returned to normal almost three years after these emergencies were first declared. This move will restructure the federal response to COVID, though it will move the virus to an endemic threat that agencies will be able to handle through their otherwise normal channels and responsibilities.
This comes after House Republicans sought to bring the National Emergencies to an abrupt end, as they announced they would be looking into the federal government’s response to COVID-19.
What does this mean?
According to AP, many “lawmakers have already ended elements of the emergencies that kept millions of Americans insured during the pandemic. Combined with the drawdown of most federal COVID-19 relief money, it would also shift the development of vaccines and treatments away from the direct management of the federal government.”
- The COVID vaccines will raise in price, according to AP, after the government stops buying them. Pfizer even said they would charge as much as $130 per dose.
- The free at-home COVID tests will also come to an end.
- While the Biden administration was contemplating ending the emergencies last year, they were worried about a “winter surge” which held it off then.
- AP claims the administration plans to use the next three months to transition out of the emergencies.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.