The end of the emergency, planned for May 11, will bring about a complex set of policy changes and signals a new chapter in the government’s pandemic response.
By Sharon LaFraniere and Noah Weiland
The Biden administration plans to let the coronavirus public health emergency expire in May, the White House said on Monday, a sign that federal officials believe the pandemic has moved into a new, less dire phase.
The move carries both symbolic weight and real-world consequences. Millions of Americans have received free Covid tests, treatments and vaccines during the pandemic, and not all of that will continue to be free once the emergency is over. The White House wants to keep the emergency in place for several more months so hospitals, health care providers and health officials can prepare for a host of changes when it ends, officials said.
An average of more than 500 people in the United States are still dying from Covid-19 each day, about twice the number of deaths per day during a bad flu season. But at the three-year mark, the coronavirus is no longer upending everyday life to the extent it once did, partly because much of the population has at least some protection against the virus from vaccinations and prior infections.
Still, the White House said on Monday that the nation needed an orderly transition out of the public health emergency. The administration said it also intended to allow a separate declaration of a national emergency to expire on the same day, May 11.
Link to article in The New York Times by Sharon LaFraniere and Noah Weiland