U.S Extended Covid Public Health Emergency
On March 29, 2022, a medical professional takes a woman’s cheek swab at a COVID-19 testing facility in New York, USA. Despite President Joe Biden’s recent assertion that the pandemic is gone, the United States has prolonged the Covid public health emergency through January 11. This is a blatant indication that the Biden administration still sees Covid as a catastrophe.
Every 90 days since the epidemic started, the Trump administration has renewed the public health emergency that was first proclaimed in January 2020. The emergency declaration’s powers have had a significant impact on the American healthcare system and social safety net, allowing hospitals to respond more quickly when infection rates spike and preserving millions of people’s access to public health insurance.
In a September television interview, Biden asserted that the “pandemic is resolved,” despite the fact that he acknowledged that Covid would continue to pose a health risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the threat that Covid poses to the country’s health has been greatly decreased as a result of the high levels of immunity present in the U.S. and the widespread accessibility of vaccines and treatments in August.
The Health and Human Services Department was urged by hospitals and pharmacists to maintain the public health emergency up to a prolonged period of low Covid transmission in the United States. Every fall and winter since the pandemic started, hospitals in particular have been overrun with patients, sometimes to the point of breaking.
In a recent interview, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the White House, stated that the president’s remarks were “problematic” because they could induce some people to relax their guard and fall behind on their vaccinations.
Fauci, who will retire in December, said: “It’s evident it could be problematic because people would read it as it’s entirely over and we’re done for good, which is not the case – no doubt about that. The emergency declaration provides federal agencies extensive discretion to increase funding for specific programs without seeking consent from Congress. More than 89 million individuals now have Medicaid, a public health insurance program for low-income people, thanks to a significant expansion in enrollment by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid under HHS. When a patient influx puts a strain on capacity, HHS also extended telemedicine services and provided hospitals flexibility in how they might deploy staff and beds.
In a call with reporters last week, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra stated that he will provide states, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders 60 days’ notice before ending the public health emergency. This means that if HHS intends to end the emergency in January, it must notify the affected parties in November.
The public health emergency’s eventual resolution will have a significant impact on American health care. Up to 15 million Americans, according to HHS projections, might lose their Medicaid coverage. Additionally, hospitals run the danger of losing the adaptability that Covid has taught them to rely on. Additionally, millions of low-income families will lose out on additional funding provided by the federal government’s nutrition program.