President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan congressional resolution on Monday to end the COVID-19 national emergency after three years.
As reported by The Associated Press, the resolution was signed just weeks before the national emergency was set to expire on May 11.
The national emergency authorized the government to take action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic after then-President Trump declared the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency in March 2020, and after Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar first declared a public health emergency on Jan. 31, 2020. After taking office in 2021, Biden extended the national emergencies continually.
On Monday, the White House announced that Biden had signed the bill behind closed doors, despite publicly opposing the measure, to the point of issuing a veto. Over 197 House Democrats voted against it when the GOP-led chamber passed it in February. Last month, Biden told lawmakers he would sign the measure after it passed the Senate by a 68-23 vote.
The administration added once it was evident that Congress was moving to accelerate the end of the national emergency, it took action to hasten agency preparations back to normal. The changes include ending the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s COVID-19 mortgage forbearance program at the end of May and the Department of Veterans Affairs is reverting to a requirement for in-home visits to determine eligibility for caregiver assistance.
Last year, lawmakers extended for another two years telehealth flexibilities that were brought at the start of the pandemic, prompting health care systems across the nation to regularly deliver care by smartphone or computer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 1.13 million people in the U.S. have died of COVID-19 in the last three years, including 1,773 people in the week ending April 5.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Drew Angerer/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.