Politico reported Saturday that administration insiders said, "Covid is not over. The pandemic is not over. It doesn’t make sense to lift this given what we’re seeing on the ground in terms of cases."
"It will end whenever the emergency ends," said another senior official.
The Covid emergency declaration was enacted in 2020 by President Trump who invoked the National Emergencies Act to deal with the novel virus' impact on the US. The declaration has been continued ever since.
On March 3 of this year the Senate GOP successfully passed a resolution to end the state of emergency. The vote was along party lines, with 48 senators for the GOP voting in favor of the resolution, while 47 Democrat senators were opposed to ending the state of emergency. The bill did not progress any further.
If Biden's extends the declaration it will last through 2024, a full four years since the virus was introduced to the US.
If the emergency is extended, the Department of Health and Human Services would enable the continuation of many federal programs and mandates that some say have contributed to inflation and the supply chain crisis.
Politico cites that others behind the scenes at the White House are ready to let the declaration lapse and that circumstances could change before the August 15 deadline to decide.
"So when does the emergency end?" Justice Amy Coney Barrett asked Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar in the case of the National Federation of Independent Business v. Department of Labor on January 7 of this year. Barrett's questioning centered around the creation of seemingly endless emergency powers that have been taken by federal, state, and local governments because of the emergency declaration.
One example, under the auspices of the emergency declaration, Medicaid has been expanded but would shrink again if the emergency ends.
Since Joe Biden took office he has never committed to outlining a way to phase out of the emergency.
Reports show the US has about 100,000 cases of Covid per day according to the New York Times.
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