LOCAL NEWS

Gov. Cox, along with 24 other governors, call on President Biden to end Federal Public Health Emergency

Dec 19, 2022, 4:35 PM | Updated: 4:43 pm
FILE: People line up in their cars as members of the Utah National Guard give COVID-19 swab tests a...
FILE: People line up in their cars as members of the Utah National Guard give COVID-19 swab tests at the Utah County Health Department on November 20, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Utah Governor called up the National Guard to assist in COVID-19 testing and tracing as Utah has seen a large spike in positive tests the last several months. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Spencer Cox signed a letter with 24 other governors calling on President Joe Biden to end the federal public health emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter states in part, “It has been nearly three years since the federal government has declared a national emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the virus will be with us for some time, the emergency phase of the pandemic is behind us.”

The letter explains that in addition, the Federal Public Health Emergency has been extended until Jan. 11, 2023, and yet states have not received any notice of the PHE expiration, causing the assumption that it will likely be renewed for 90 days and expire in April 2023.

“We ask that you allow the PHE to expire in April and provide states with much-needed certainty well in advance of its expiration.”

The letter claims the PHE is negatively affecting states, by increasing the amount of people covered by Medicaid, although individuals may not continue to be eligible.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, state have added 20 million individuals to the Medicaid rolls (an increase of 30%) and those numbers continue to climb as the PHE continues to be extended every 90 days. We urge you to end the national emergency and the PHE in April and provide states notices of those intentions well in advance to allow us to adequately plan for the future.”

Biden, in an appearance on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” declared, “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with Covid. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. It’s — but the pandemic is over.”

Former U.S. President Donald Trump first declared COVID-19 a public health emergency in January 2020. Since then, it has been renewed every 90 days since the beginning of the pandemic.

Utah downgraded its emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2022.

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Gov. Cox, along with 24 other governors, call on President Biden to end Federal Public Health Emergency