US President Joe Biden has signed a bipartisan congressional resolution to finally end the national emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic after three years.
The national emergency granted the government unprecedented powers to access additional resources and take necessary measures to respond to the pandemic, as well as waive certain regulations and streamline processes to expedite the delivery of medical supplies and services. The declaration, which was originally issued by former President Donald Trump in March 2020, has been extended multiple times and was set to expire on April 21, 2023.
Most emergency measures have already been phased out prior to the expiry date, whilst others— including a mortgage forbearance program and stringent immigration procedures at the Mexico border are scheduled to end in May. Biden had previously expressed opposition to the resolution, but ultimately did not issue a veto. The resolution was initially passed by the GOP-controlled House, with Democrats voting against it.
The decision to extend the national emergency declaration was based on recommendations from health experts and officials from the Department of Health and Human Services.
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