Since first being announced on January 31, 2020, the public health emergency has been renewed ten times already, making this latest extension the 11th.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra made the announcement via a declaration, titled “Renewal of Determination that a Public Health Emergency Exists.“
“As a result of the continued consequences of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, on this date and after consultation with public health officials as necessary, I, Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, pursuant to the authority vested in me under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, do hereby renew, effective January 11, 2023, the January 31, 2020, determination by former Secretary Alex M. Azar II, that he previously renewed on April 21, 2020, July 23, 2020, October 2, 2020, and January 7, 2021, and that I renewed on April 15, 2021, July 19, 2021, October 15, 2021, January 14, 2022, April 12, 2022, July 15, 2022, and October 13, 2022, that a public health emergency exists and has existed since January 27, 2020, nationwide,” the declaration reads.
Biden first announced in November that he would be extending the public health emergency past January 11, when it was set to expire.
The US Senate voted 62-36 a few days later to end the public health emergency declaration. However, Biden responded that he would veto the decision.
Biden declared that “the pandemic is over” during an interview on 60 Minutes in September, saying, “we still have a problem with Covid. We're still doing a lotta work on it. It's—but the pandemic is over.”
“If you notice, no one's wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it's changing,” he added, while walking around the first Detroit Auto Show in three years.
The White House then attempted to backtrack on those claims a few days later.
The extension comes following an announcement from the Pentagon on Tuesday that it would be dropping the vaccine mandate for military service members.
Also extended is the US's vaccine mandate for foreign travelers arriving in the country, which had been extended by the TSA in December through April 10.