Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced a resolution Thursday to end the COVID-19 national emergency declaration that is still in effect under the National Emergencies Act (NEA) despite Joe Biden’s comments that the pandemic is “over” in the United States.
“Since President Biden used his appearance on 60 Minutes to declare COVID is over, he must immediately terminate the COVID-19 national emergency declaration and wind down other emergency authorities that his Administration continues to force us to live under,” Marshall said in a statement released by his office.
In a 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday night, Biden said the COVID pandemic is “over” in the United States.
“The pandemic is over,” Biden said. “We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lotta work on it. … But the pandemic is over.”
In his Labor Day speech in Wisconsin, in which he attacked Trump (MAGA) supporters, Biden also said, “Today, COVID no longer controls our lives.”
Joe Biden said the pandemic is over.
We will force a vote to make this happen by ending the COVID national emergency declaration. It’s long overdue. I expect Biden’s full support. https://t.co/mpxQS6AShm
— Dr. Roger Marshall (@RogerMarshallMD) September 22, 2022
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) noted Thursday Biden made these remarks “as his administration has asked Congress for billions of dollars for more funding for testing programs, clinical trials and research and continues to keep the country under a national emergency declaration.”
“It was jaw-dropping,” Marshall told the WSJ. “Here’s Joe Biden talking out of both sides of his mouth saying that the COVID pandemic is over with and yet he wants to continue these emergencies.”
In February, Biden quietly sent a letter to the House Speaker and Senate President stating he was extending the national COVID emergency pandemic indefinitely.
“There remains a need to continue this national emergency,” Biden wrote, adding:
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause significant risk to the public health and safety of the Nation. More than 900,000 people in this Nation have perished from the disease, and it is essential to continue to combat and respond to COVID-19 with the full capacity and capability of the Federal Government.
The joint resolution states:
Relating to a national emergency declared by the President on March 13, 2020.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, [t]hat, pursuant to section 202 of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622), the national emergency declared by the finding of the President on March 13, 2020, in Proclamation 9994 (85 Fed. Reg. 15337) is hereby terminated.
As Marshall’s office noted, former President Donald Trump invoked the NEA in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic in the United States. Biden extended the national emergency in February 2021 and again in February 2022.
However, as the senator’s office also observed, the NEA provides Congress:
… termination review of national emergencies, stating that after six months, and every six months after the emergency continues, “each House of Congress shall meet to consider a vote on a joint resolution to determine whether the emergency shall be terminated.”
Marshall introduced a resolution to end the COVID national emergency in March. But, while the measure passed the Senate by a vote of 48-47, Biden issued a veto threat, and the House failed to take it up.
Biden said in his veto threat that any “actions by Congress” to end his administration’s authority to respond to COVID-19 “abruptly and prematurely would be a reckless and costly mistake.”
“The American people are fatigued and yearning to operate outside of the confines of supersized government,” Marshall said. “They long for their God-given freedoms, and for leaders to take their side.”
“It’s high time to for Joe Biden and his Administration to stop using COVID to implement their partisan political agenda and focus on the surge in crime and the fentanyl epidemic that is wreaking havoc across this nation and killing Americans at record rates,” he added.
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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]