US President Joe Biden has signed a bill on Monday (local time) to end the national emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Covid-19 virus was declared a public health emergency by the health secretary of the Trump administration on 31 January 2020, whereas former US President Donald Trump declared it a national emergency in March of that year. President Joe Biden has broadened the use of emergency powers since he took office in January 2021.
Biden had earlier opposed the bill brought in by the House Republicans but had said he won't veto it.
"On Monday, April 10, 2023, the President signed into law: H.J.Res. 7, which terminates the national emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic," read a White House press release.
The new law immediately ends the national emergency and public health emergency first enacted during the Trump administration and continued through 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 declarations allowed federal funding to be freed up to cities and states for testing and vaccination centers.
The White House had opposed the GOP-proposed measure, which gained some bipartisan support in Congress, even though the White House planned to end emergency declarations on May 11.
The White House said the legislation would "create wide-ranging chaos and uncertainty throughout the health care system -- for states, hospitals and doctors' offices, and, most importantly, for tens of millions of Americans."
In January, the White House said that Biden would end the national and public health emergencies on May 11 after more than 1 million Americans died from the respiratory disease that originated in Wuhan, China.
The Justice Department has said that ending the emergency would terminate the Title 42 migration policy that allows for the rapid deportation of people who illegally cross the US-Mexico border, reported New York Post.
The Biden administration has eased enforcement of Title 42 by gradually allowing more people into the US to await asylum rulings, but thousands of migrants have still been deported each month under the policy, which would have to be replaced with a new plan to address record-high illegal crossings.