Biden Administration Plans to Extend COVID-19 Emergency, Official Suggests

President Joe Biden’s administration plans to extend the emergency declaration over COVID-19 before it expires, an official indicated on June 16.

Dawn O’Connell, the administration’s assistant secretary for preparedness and response, said on Capitol Hill during a Senate hearing that the administration is sticking with its promise to give states ample notice prior to terminating the public health emergency declaration.

“We will give 60 days notice before it comes down,” O’Connell told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the top Republican on the Senate Health Committee.

The emergency was declared by then-Health Secretary Alex Azar on Jan. 31, 2020. Azar, a Trump appointee, repeatedly extended the declaration.

Health Secretary Xavier Becerra, a Biden appointee, has continued the trend.

Becerra last extended the emergency on April 12, for 90 days. That means it would expire in mid-July unless it was extended again.