Coronavirus-related restrictions have eased across the country, with The New York Times reporting in March that Hawaii became the final state to drop its universal indoor mask mandate.
Yet in what some will no doubt regard as a sinister move, the Biden administration is planning to once again categorize COVID-19 as a public health emergency.
Emergency extension expect to go past midterm elections
That’s according to a report published by Politico on Saturday. It cited three anonymous administration sources as saying that “the planned renewal follows extensive deliberations.”
“COVID is not over. The pandemic is not over,” one senior figure was quoted as saying. “It doesn’t make sense to lift this [declaration] given what we’re seeing on the ground in terms of cases.”
Another unnamed high-ranking official told the publication that the declaration “will end whenever the emergency ends.”
Politico stated that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will likely extend its state of emergency beyond the current August 15 expiration until at least the elections in November and possibly into early next year.
“The federal government has continuously renewed the declaration since the first Covid cases hit the U.S. in January 2020,” the website noted.
It also pointed out that “while HHS has pledged to give states 60 days’ notice before allowing it to expire, the administration has refused to set out specific criteria for phasing out its emergency authorities.”
The website referenced two sources who have said “some officials have floated allowing the declaration to expire in October” provided that another round of vaccines are successfully rolled out and a surge of cases can be avoided in the autumn.
Poll shows even few Democrats think COVID is country’s main issue
Still, it pointed out how “such a move would likely spark fierce pushback from the health industry and invite criticism from public health groups on the front lines of efforts to combat the virus and vaccinate more Americans.”
Interestingly, a poll published by Gallup this weekend found that less than 1% of Americans consider COVID to be country’s top issue.
Even Democrats were unlikely to say the pandemic is their main concern, ranking abortion, gun control, and racial issues as being bigger priorities.