President Joe Biden told Congress on Monday that he will end the twin national emergencies for addressing COVID-19 on May 11, as most of the world has returned closer to normalcy nearly three years after they were first declared, the Associated Press reported. The move would formally overturn the federal response to the virus to treat it as an endemic threat to public health, much like flu, which returns but can be managed. Then-President Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar first declared a public health emergency on Jan. 31, 2020, and Trump later declared the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency that March. The emergencies have been repeatedly extended by Biden since he took office in January 2021, and are set to expire in the coming months. The White House said Biden plans to extend them both briefly to end on May 11.
The news comes as the seven-day average of new U.S. cases stood at 45,791 on Monday, according to a New York Times tracker. That’s down 23% from two weeks ago. The daily average for hospitalizations was down 22% at 32,823. The average for deaths was 506, down 10% from two weeks ago. The global tally of confirmed cases of COVID-19 topped 670.6 million on Tuesday, while the death toll rose above 6.83 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. leads the world with 102.3 million cases and 1,107,855 fatalities.
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