Biden Officially Ends National Emergency Declaration for COVID-19

President Joe Biden on April 10 signed a measure that immediately ended the COVID-19 national emergency more than three years after it was enacted, the White House announced. On March 29, the Senate voted 68 to 23 in favor of HJ Res 7, with 21 Democrats joining 47 Republicans. The resolution, which was introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and passed by the House 229-197 on Feb. 1, simply declared that the pandemic national emergency “is hereby terminated.”

Before the Senate vote on the resolution, Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) encouraged his fellow legislators to “end this chapter and let Americans get back to their own lives.” He added: “I ask my colleagues to join me again in a strong bipartisan fashion in sending this resolution to the president’s desk to end the national emergency declaration for COVID-19 once and for all today.”

President Donald Trump first enacted both a COVID national emergency and public health emergency on March 13, 2020 and January 31, 2020 respectively. Originally scheduled to end on May 11 2021, Biden signed off on HJ Res 7 to terminate them early as part of his plan outlined in a White House letter sent to Congress on Jan 30.

In an interview last September, Biden said “the pandemic is over” and that it was time for individuals to “get back to their own lives” without face coverings or vaccine mandates imposed upon them. A number of Medicare waivers were announced at the start of the pandemic but are now irrelevant due continued relaxation of pandemic measures across multiple states and territories.

The measure formally ends these waivers from 2021 onwards in addition to ending blanket criminal background checks for providers as well as application fees prioritizes individual freedom over bureaucratic demands as part of its conclusion of this tumultuous chapter in modern history