President Biden announced Monday that he plans to end COVID-19 emergencies on May 11, about three years after they were first declared.
Biden told Congress that he was planning to end the national emergency and public health emergency declarations that were set up to address the pandemic, according to The Associated Press. This move comes as the world is returning closer to some form of normalcy.
The White House plans to keep the emergency declarations in place for the next few months in order for hospitals, healthcare providers and health officials to make preparations for the aftermath, according to The New York Times.
The Biden administration has been renewing the public health emergency every 90 days, the newspaper reported. It has also pledged to give states a notice of 60 days before ending it altogether.
The latest declaration is expected to end in mid-April and the Biden administration is planning to extend it another month.
According to the Times, the announcement comes a day before the House is expected to vote on a bill called the Pandemic Is Over Act which would immediately end the public health emergency. It is one of a few pandemic-related measures that the House is expected to consider this week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that over 1.1 million people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19 since 2020. About 3,700 people have died of the virus this past week alone, the agency said.
The cost of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to increase sharply once the federal government stops paying for them. According to the AP, Pfizer said it would charge about $130 per dose. Some people with private insurance may have to pay out-of-pocket costs for the vaccines.
In addition, distribution of free at-home COVID tests will come to an end, and hospitals will no longer get extra payments for treating COVID-19 patients, the AP reported.
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