President Joe Biden on Monday informed Congress that he will end the twin national emergencies for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic on May 11.
The move to end the national emergency and the public health emergency comes as scientific and medical experts say Americans are learning to live with the virus. The pandemic was declared by then-President Donald Trump in March 2020.
Since taking office in January 2021, Biden has consistently extended the emergencies.
Biden’s move would restructure the federal coronavirus response to treat the virus as an endemic threat to public health that can be managed through agencies’ normal authorities. Additionally, the president’s directive would shift the development of vaccines and treatments away from the federal government, The Associated Press reported.
“An abrupt end to the emergency declarations would create wide-ranging chaos and uncertainty throughout the health care system—for states, for hospitals and doctors’ offices, and, most importantly, for tens of millions of Americans,” the Office of Management and Budget wrote in a Statement of Administration Policy, AP reported.
More than 1.1 million people in the U.S. have died from coronavirus-related illnesses since 2020, including 3,700 last week, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.