US President Joe Biden has signed a bill to terminate the national emergency status for COVID-19 in the country after three years. The bill ends the national emergency and public health emergency first enacted during the Trump government and continued in the Biden administration. Former President Donald Trump first declared a national emergency over the virus on March 13, 2020, retroactive to March 1 of that year.
The White House downplayed the impact of the bill, stating that it will not affect the planned wind-down of the Public Health Emergency on May 11. The public health program enabled the government to provide COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines free of cost to Americans. It also enhanced the social safety net benefits to help the US cope with the pandemic while minimizing its impact, reported CNN.
Impact of the Bill
An official from the White House signaled strong opposition to the bill ending the emergency status in the country. However, he said that if it came across President Biden’s desk, he would sign it. The White House had planned to end both emergencies by May 11.
The legislation was passed by the House 229-197 in February with a handful of Democratic supporters and then the Senate by 68-23 last month with about half of the chamber’s Democrats voting in favor, reported news agency ANI.
COVID-19 Situation in India
As the US ends the national emergency bill, the COVID-19 situation in India does not look good, with the rise in cases. On Monday, 5,880 new cases were recorded, making the active cases count stand at 35,199. The tally for the ones recovered on Monday stood at 4,41,96,318, and the death toll stood at 5,30,979.
Nation-wide mock drills are being conducted to check the preparedness of both private and public hospitals.
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