It’s official. Despite President Joe Biden’s recent admission that the pandemic is over, his team will extend the COVID-19 public-health emergency through at least April 11, 2023. This has nothing to do with any emergency — it is to allow the administration to extend pandemic-era policies that expand the welfare state.
Biden — in one of his unguarded, truth-telling gaffes — was correct: The pandemic emergency phase is over. New COVID cases began to decline in late July and have been relatively stable over the past month; new COVID hospitalizations have been steadily falling since late July; the percentage of emergency-department visitors diagnosed with COVID hasn’t been rising; COVID death rates have been dropping since August.
And vaccines and therapeutics are readily available, so available in fact that millions of doses are going unused.
Extending the emergency is aimed at keeping as many people as possible dependent on Medicaid — the federal-state health program that covers more than 1 in 4 Americans — even though large and growing numbers of beneficiaries are ineligible.