Biden Admin To Extend COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Into April 2023

(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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The United States Department of Health and Human Services did not inform states or healthcare providers of any intent to lift the COVID public health emergency by its Friday deadline, extending the emergency into at least April 2023.

In October, HHS extended the COVID public health emergency until Jan. 11. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra has promised to give 60 days’ notice before lifting the declaration to allow preparation for a return to normal operations. The emergency automatically renews in 90-day increments unless HHS gives notice 60 days prior to a renewal date, meaning that the extension set to take place in January will carry the emergency forward into April. (RELATED: Federal Judge Strikes Down A Key Part Of President Biden’s Transgender Agenda)

A declaration of a public health emergency affects American’s access to health insurance. Up to 15 million people will be unenrolled from Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs if the declaration is lifted. A public health emergency also makes it easier to access vaccines against COVID-19.

The HHS first declared COVID-19 a public health emergency nearly three years ago on January 27, 2020.

Chicago has raised its COVID-19 alert to medium ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday Friday.

“With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away and the expected rise in winter-related respiratory virus circulation, I urge all Chicagoans to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations and get their flu shot now,” Chicago’s public health commissioner, Dr. Allison Arwady, said.

Several groups and individuals have criticized the Biden Administration for maintaining a state of emergency for the virus, so many years after it first broke out. The student group Young Americans for Liberty wrote on Twitter in response to the news, “They will never give up their emergency powers willingly. Oldest trick in the government playbook.” The CEO of Becker News accused Biden of keeping the state of emergency to ensure that mass mail-in ballots would be used in the 2024 presidential election.

“There is no “emergency.” Anyone who tells you differently is lying. 97% of the country has Covid antibodies,” he wrote.