The United States extended the declaration of emergency by COVID-19 until the spring

The Secretary of Health, Xavier Becerra

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

United States extended Friday the Covid public health emergency until the spring of 2023, a Joe Biden administration official said Friday.

The decision to extend the emergency comes as public health officials expect another spike in Covid this winter as people gather more indoors where the virus spreads more easily. The future also remains uncertain as more elusive omicron sub-variants become dominant in the country.

Friday was the last day that the Biden Administration had to notify of the end of the emergency declaration and since it has not occurred, it is automatically extended until at least April of next year.

The emergency declaration for the covid-19 pandemic has been in effect since January 2020.

The declaration of emergency by Covid has had a great impact on the United States health system because helped get treatments and vaccines approved at breakneck speed and allowed the Administration to ensure that Americans did not have to pay for them.

The declaration has dramatically expanded public health insurance through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Enrollment in these programs increased 26% during the pandemic to a record of more than 89 million people in June.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has estimated that up to 15 million people could lose Medicaid or CHIP once the programs return to normal operation.

In late September, Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra said that although the country has made significant progress in its fight against COVID-19 compared to last year, the coronavirus pandemic is not over yet.

“Between 300 and 400 people a day die from Covid. We are not over it,” he told a group of reporters on a visit to a vaccination center in Washington.

Becerra’s comments thus qualified the previous statements by President Joe Biden when he assured the CBS network that “the pandemic is over.”

“What the president said is what everyone feels, that we are much better now” than a year ago, Becerra said. However, Biden’s statement was echoed by Republicans in Congress, who seek to lift the declaration of national emergency by Covid.

A group of 17 House lawmakers wrote a letter asking Biden to kill the measure, and a Republican senator introduced a resolution for the Senate to vote on ending it.

“The federal government has spent some $10 trillion, resulting in an economic crisis,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.

Becerra dismissed the idea of ​​lifting the emergency declaration and said that To make a decision, you must wait for the scientific community to pronounce itself. “We are going to wait for the scientists to give us a guide and tell us where we stand,” she assured.

Between August and September 2022, the US reported an average of 356 daily deaths from COVID-19, and the disease caused by the virus is the third leading cause of death in the country, after cancer and heart disease.