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US extends COVID-19 public health emergency declaration

REUTERS

WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday extended the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic’s status as a public health emergency for another 90 days, thereby preserving measures like high payments to hospitals and expanded Medicaid.

The extension was announced by US Health Secretary Xavier Becerra on Thursday. Last month, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., said in an interview that “the pandemic is over,” which prompted criticism from health experts.

The toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has diminished significantly since early in Mr. Biden’s term when more than 3,000 Americans per day were dying, as enhanced care, medications and vaccinations have become more widely available.

But hundreds of people a day continue to die from the coronavirus in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mr. Biden has asked Congress for $22.4 billion more in funding to prepare for a potential case surge.

Former President Donald J. Trump had declared a national emergency in 2020 to free up $50 billion in federal aid. — Reuters

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