With America now going into week 147 of the “two week lockdown to flatten the curve”, there are many of us who’ve felt as though the coronavirus pandemic is over.
In fact, even President Biden himself seemed to buy into the idea, having declared it such several months ago.
This week, however, the White House refused to take a major step forward in the optics of the endemic, forcing many to wonder if this is what’s stalling our economic recovery.
The White House’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has extended the COVID-19 state of emergency.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra announced the decision Wednesday via a declaration titled, “Renewal of Determination that a Public Health Emergency Exists.”
The statement was pretty basic, government boilerplate stuff.
“As a result of the continued consequences of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, on this date and after consultation with public health officials as necessary, I, Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, pursuant to the authority vested in me under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, do hereby renew, effective January 11, 2023, the January 31, 2020, determination by former Secretary Alex M. Azar II, that he previously renewed on April 21, 2020, July 23, 2020, October 2, 2020, and January 7, 2021, and that I renewed on April 15, 2021, July 19, 2021, October 15, 2021, January 14, 2022, April 12, 2022, July 15, 2022, and October 13, 2022, that a public health emergency exists and has existed since January 27, 2020, nationwide.”
Biden’s comments in September of last year seem to be worth mentioning…
“Is the pandemic over?,” a reporter asked Biden. “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it,” Biden responded.
The “emergency” status is a likely contingent of many of the economic assistance programs that still exist today under the banner of COVID, and could be stalling some portions of our expected economic recovery.