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White House to End Covid Emergency, Border Measures in May

The White House will end the Covid-19 emergency declarations and lift the controversial Title 42 restrictions and expulsion measures at the US-Mexico border on May 11.

White House
White House

The national and public health emergency declarations will be extended to that date and then lifted, according to a statement from the administration.

End of Title 42

Title 42 was invoked by the Trump administration in 2020 to slow the spread of Covid-19 but became a topic of debate. The measure has been used over 2 million times to expel migrants since 2020, according to government data. The Supreme Court ruled in December that it must remain in effect until the justices hear arguments on whether to lift it. The end of Title 42 is expected to coincide with an increase in border crossings and asylum claims. The administration confirmed that the measure will be lifted on May 11 and wants to end it in a safe and orderly way.

Public Health Emergency Extension

The US Department of Health and Human Services extended the coronavirus public health emergency through mid-April. The Biden administration extended the public health emergency even further to May 11. The administration promised to give states 60 days' notice before ending the public health emergency to prepare for changes to programs and regulatory authorities. The emergency declaration allowed millions of Americans special access to Medicaid and telehealth services.

The US Department of Health and Human Services logo
The US Department of Health and Human Services logo

The administration said it provides advance notice to avoid chaos and uncertainty in the health care system. The public health emergency allowed Medicaid to keep patients enrolled continuously, significantly increasing enrollment. Republican lawmakers have criticized the public health emergency as a heavy-handed form of government intervention. Health policy experts argue that the health department must protect vulnerable people before unwinding the emergency designation.