Biden administration targets end to COVID-19 public health emergency

The Biden administration seeks to end the COVID-19 public health emergency, potentially as soon as the spring, Politico reported Jan. 10, citing three people with knowledge of the matter.

HHS initially declared the public health emergency in 2020. The agency has renewed the declaration multiple times in recent years. 

Now, the Biden administration is poised to extend the declaration again past its Jan. 11 expiration date, for another 90 days, and it may be the last renewal, according to Politico. HHS has said it will provide states with 60 days' notice prior to a possible termination or expiration of the declaration.

A decision to end the declaration has not been finalized, but the tentative plan for one final 90-day renewal means the declaration could end as early as April, sources with knowledge of the matter told Politico. The sources noted to the publication, though, that the Biden administration could still issue additional short-term extensions as needed. 

The public health emergency has allowed the U.S. to lead an all-out pandemic crisis response, including policies around COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. An end to the public health emergency would involve transitioning responses to future surges to HHS and the CDC and distribution of vaccines and treatments to the private market.

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