Earlier this week, President Joseph Biden signed a bill that would end the COVID-19 national emergency with immediate effect. The national emergency was first enacted in 2020, during former President Donald Trump’s administration.
Initially, the White House had announced plans to extend the national emergency as well as the public health emergency until May 11, 2023. However, GOP members in the House introduced measures to end both immediately.
In a statement of administration policy, the White House stated that a sudden end to the emergency proclamations would cause uncertainty and chaos throughout the healthcare system. This is primarily because these declarations allowed patients and medical providers access to free coronavirus treatments by boosting payments for hospitals taking care of coronavirus patients. This is in addition to affecting immigration by ending Title 42, which gave border officials power to deny migrants an opportunity to claim asylum in the United States.
While the Biden administration did oppose the measures, arguing that the bills would be a grave disservice to Americans, the president ended up signing the resolution putting an end to the national emergency. This comes after President Biden told Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that he didn’t plan to veto the bill. This marks the second time that Biden voiced his opposition to a measure sponsored by Republicans.
In March, the president told the Senate that he wouldn’t veto a Republican-backed resolution that would rescind changes to the D.C. criminal code, a move that surprised many Democrats.
Putting an end to the national emergency will halt some waivers provided for federal health programs, which helped health-care providers during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eventually, the responsibility of the distribution of most COVID-19 treatments and vaccines will shift to the private market.
It should be noted that the public health emergency is still set to expire in May — along with the Title 42 policy, which was reinstated at the height of the pandemic during the Trump administration.
In the statement of administration policy that opposed the Republican measures seeking to terminate the pandemic emergencies, the Biden Administration warned that abruptly ending Title 42 could allow thousands of migrants into the country daily and immediately, without the necessary policies in place.
It is expected that the fate of Title 42 will be decided by the judiciary come June, after courts blocked efforts by the White House attempting to end the policy.
The enacting of the bill ending the COVID-19 emergency across the country doesn’t mean that the infectious disease no longer poses a threat to the United States. In fact, for-profit businesses such as BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (NASDAQ: BVXV) are pressing ahead with their drug-development programs that have a component of commercializing novel treatments for this viral infection.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (NASDAQ: BVXV) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/BVXV
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