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Biden Admin To Extend COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Into April 2023

 The United States Department of Health and Human Services did not inform states or healthcare providers of any intent to lift the COVID public health emergency by its Friday deadline, extending the emergency into at least January.

In October, HHS extended the COVID public health emergency to January 11. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra has promised to give 60 days notice before lifting the declaration to allow preparation for a return to normal operations. 

A declaration of a public health emergency affects American’s access to health insurance. Up to 15 million people will be unenrolled from Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs if the declaration is lifted. A public health emergency also makes it easier to access vaccines against COVID-19.

The HHS first declared COVID-19 a public health emergency nearly three years ago on January 27, 2020.

Chicago has raised its COVID-19 alert to medium ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday Friday.

“With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away and the expected rise in winter-related respiratory virus circulation, I urge all Chicagoans to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations and get their flu shot now,” Chicago’s public health commissioner, Dr. Allison Arwady, said.

Several groups and individuals have criticized the Biden Administration for maintaining a state of emergency for the virus, so many years after it first broke out. The student group Young Americans for Liberty wrote on Twitter in response to the news, “They will never give up their emergency powers willingly. Oldest trick in the government playbook.” The CEO of Becker News accused Biden of keeping the state of emergency to ensure that mass mail-in ballots would be used in the 2024 presidential election.

“There is no “emergency.” Anyone who tells you differently is lying. 97% of the country has Covid antibodies,” he wrote.

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