Biden, again, extends COVID public health emergency status

The Washington Examiner reports that President Joe Biden has once again decided to extend the public health emergency status of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The COVID-19 pandemic was first declared a public health emergency in January of 2020, and this status has been renewed every 90 days since.

This latest renewal is renewal number 12, and it extends the public health emergency status of the COVID-19 pandemic through Jan. 11, 2023.

The “why?”

Considering that the coronavirus seems to be nowhere near as serious a threat as it once was and considering that the Biden administration has appeared as though it was going to let the emergency status expire, a fair question to ask is why the Biden administration feels the need for another extension.

Reuters, citing a Biden administration official, reports, “the possibility of a winter surge in COVID cases and the need for more time to transition out of the public health emergency to a private market were two factors that contributed to the decision.”

Regarding the latter, the Washington Examiner reports that the Biden administration has been signaling that it is looking “to transfer key tasks to the private sector” but that “the transition has been slow to get off its feet.”

According to the Examiner, these key tasks are related to “COVID-19 vaccines, tests, antiviral treatment, and other COVID-19 pharmaceuticals.”

There is something else, however, that can’t be overlooked, which is the fact that the public health emergency status allows the government to be able to do things that it would not normally be able to do without that status.

The extension will allow COVID tests, vaccines, and treatments to remain free to the public, and it will allow the practice of forcing states to continuously enroll people in Medicaid and CHIP to continue.

The end should be near

If there is any good news here, it is that this should be the final extension of the COVID pandemic’s public health emergency status.

Reports indicate that the federal funding for the COVID pandemic is running out: It is expected to be completely gone by early next year.

So, as long as Congress doesn’t give the Biden administration more COVID funding, this should eventually end.