US extends pandemic public health emergency for 12th time

The United States is extending the public health emergency related to the coronavirus pandemic through April, President Joe Biden’s administration confirmed to CNBC on Friday.

The latest extension would be the 12th renewal since government officials first declared a public health emergency in January 2020, with renewals taking place every 90 days.

The decision to extend the emergency comes as public health officials would expect a winter spike in coronavirus cases as individuals congregate indoors more often. Officials are also concerned about the spread of omicron subvariants, CNBC reported.

According to Beckers Hospital Review:

The extension also comes amid uncertainty around public health as winter approaches. The new Omicron strains – dubbed “escape variants” for their immune evasion – became the dominant strains in the United States, accounting for 40% of all cases in the week ending November 12.

Daily cases in the country are expected to increase by 39% from November 3 to 17. Hospital admission trends are expected to remain stable or be more uncertain, with 1,300 to 7,300 new admissions likely reported Nov. 25, according to the CDC. As of November 4, the national seven-day average of new hospital admissions was 3,273.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, left to right, Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General, and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra listen to President Joe Biden speak of COVID-19 during an event at the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in Washington.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General, and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra listen to President Joe Biden speak about COVID-19 during of an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra previously pledged to provide health care providers with 60 days notice before lifting the emergency declaration.

Previously, the public health emergency was set to expire on January 11, leaving the 60-day notice period on November 11. However, HHS officials did not provide such notice on Friday.

As CBNC reported:

HHS did not send that notice Friday, the deadline, which means the emergency has been extended until the spring, the administration official said. How the United States fares against Covid this fall and winter will help determine whether the emergency should be renewed in the future, Becerra told reporters in October.

As part of the emergency declaration, public access to health insurance through Medicaid has been expanded. An estimated 15 million people could lose access to Medicare or other federal programs when the emergency declaration is lifted.

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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