(Washington) US President Joe Biden on Monday officially ended the national state of emergency related to COVID-19, in place for three years in the country which has officially paid the highest price for the pandemic, with more a million dead.
The White House said in a statement that the president had ratified legislation passed by Congress “ending the national state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The considerable funds allocated since 2020 to provide COVID-19 tests, free vaccines, and other emergency measures will no longer be available.
The separate state of health emergency is due to expire on May 11.
Its end should go hand in hand with the expiration of a measure put in place in 2020 under the Trump administration, which allows the deportation without delay of migrants without a visa, even potential asylum seekers.
The US executive had said it wanted to lift this measure known as “Title 42” and replace it with a different legal mechanism to regulate the flow of migrants.
A senior White House official told AFP that the use of this measure “should end on May 11”.
While the US government publicly turns the page on the COVID-19 pandemic, it says it is already working on the next generation of vaccines and other measures to combat any future variants of the virus.
“The NextGen project will accelerate and streamline the rapid development of the next generation of vaccines and treatments through public-private partnerships,” a senior government official told AFP.
Funds amounting to at least $5 billion are available to “promote scientific advances”, and to “stay ahead of the rapidly evolving virus causing COVID-19”.