Lawmakers call on Biden to end public health emergency

More than 70 House Republican lawmakers have signed a letter calling for an end to the designation of COVID-19 as a public health emergency, NPR reported Feb. 14. 

The letter was addressed to President Joe Biden and HHS secretary Xavier Becerra. The group of Republican lawmakers that penned the letter cited access to vaccines and treatments, as well as the mental health effects of isolation, as reasons to end the emergency. 

"Although the PHE was certainly necessary at the outset of the pandemic, it was always meant to be temporary. Our country is now in a much different situation than we were when the PHE was originally enacted," lawmakers wrote. 

The lawmakers also in their letter urged President Biden to lift vaccine and mask mandates and reopen schools for in-person learning.

Mr. Becerra last extended the public health emergency designation Jan. 14, which is set to expire April 15. The letter called for President Biden to submit plans to Congress by March 15.

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