Declarations end but the COVID-19 pandemic remains a dire emergency

The U.S. national emergency declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic ended Monday as President Joe Biden signed a congressional resolution to bring it to a close after three years — weeks before it was set to expire alongside a separate public health emergency.

More than 197 Democrats in the House voted against the measure when the GOP-controlled chamber passed it in February. The measure was approved by the Senate by a 68-23 vote, but after having publicly opposed the resolution Biden signed the measure behind closed doors instead of issuing a veto.

More than 1.13 million Americans died from COVID-19 over the last three years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including 1,773 people who perished in the week ending April 5.

The national emergency allowed the government to take sweeping steps to respond to the virus and support the country’s economic, health, and welfare systems.

Some of the emergency measures have already been successfully wound down, while others are still being phased out. The public health emergency — it underpins tough immigration restrictions at the U.S.-Mexico border — is set to expire on May 11.

Among the changes that will result from the end of the national emergency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s COVID-19 mortgage forbearance program is set to end at the end of May, and the Department of Veterans Affairs is now returning to a requirement for in-home visits to determine eligibility for caregiver assistance.

Then-President Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar first declared a public health emergency on Jan. 31, 2020, and Trump declared the pandemic a national emergency that March, often with contradictory and confusing statements or behavior that gave rise to dangerous politicization of the response and a rash of misinformation about the deadly disease.

Biden repeatedly extended the declarations since he took office in January 2021, and he broadened the use of emergency powers after entering the White House.

In the United States of America, from January 2020 until April 2023, there have been 102,873,924 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,118,800 deaths, reported to the World Health Organization (WHO).

As of April 2023, a total of 666,541,020 vaccine doses have been administered in the United States, while a total of 13,340,275,493 vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

As of April 2023, a total of 667 million vaccine doses have been administered in the United States, while a total of 13 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

The highest death toll was recorded a week before President Donald Trump vacated the White House, when 23,312 Americans died during the week of January 11, 2021, and despite a few spikes along the way.

The US periodic mortality numbers have declined during the entirety of President Joe Biden’s tenure, even though the greatest number of confirmed cases in a week did not occur until a year later.

Experts attribute that to more effective and responsible public health protocols initiated under the Democratic White House.

A review by the WHO Technical Advisory Group in March 2023 of evidence on the performance of updated COVID-19 vaccines that incorporate descendent lineages of Omicron as a booster dose has established that immunizations continue to confer high levels of protection against severe disease and death caused by all SARS-CoV-2 variant.

WHO member countries have mapped out how negotiations on a global accord on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response will move forward with a view to presenting a draft accord for approval by the World Health Assembly in May 2024.

The Pan American Health Organization created this map to show the vaccine status as a percentage of the population inoculated in every country in the Americas. Despite being the richest nation, the United States lags behind other modern democracies including Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Columbia.

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