Rep. Brett Guthrie’s “Pandemic is Over” Act passes through the House

The Pandemic is Over Act would effectively end the COVID-19 National Emergency and the Public Health Emergency set back in 2020 during the Trump Administration
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 7:48 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - It has been almost three years since the world went into lockdown due to the spread of COVID-19. With COVID cases decreasing, lawmakers are wanting to move on from the many public health emergencies declared by the executive branch.

Brett Guthrie, Kentucky’s 2nd District Representative for the U.S. House of Representatives, is the head sponsor of H.R. 382, which would effectively put an end to the COVID-19 national emergency and public health emergency set back in 2020 during the Trump administration.

President Joe Biden’s administration has continued to implement these emergencies, but after three years, lawmakers are urging his health cabinet to put an end to the emergency declarations.

“In the first year of the Biden administration, we were still kind of in the peak of it (COVID-19 pandemic) moving forward,” said Guthrie. “The point of the bill is that we can not perpetually operate under emergency powers. Congress has the power to legislate, and we delegate that for emergency times. In this case, only the secretary of Health and Human Services can end it.”

The Biden administration’s plan is to extend the emergency declarations to May 11, and then end both emergencies on that date. If the “Pandemic is Over” Act passes through the Senate as it did in the House on Wednesday, Feb. 1, those emergency declarations could be brought to a halt as early as next month.

“The emergency status of it is not there. I just want to make sure people understand that I am not saying there is no COVID. Treating it the way we treated it at the peak, when we really were not sure about its behavior and how it was going to change and mutate, then we did have those additional costs. Now, we do not. We do not need those,” said Guthrie.

Not only does Guthrie want the country to get back on track financially by disbanding these declarations, rather he wants to end other policies he said the Biden administration is enforcing under these emergencies.

“We do not need the President or the executive branch to go through emergency powers so they can do things like forgive student loans using that statute to invoke other statutes, but we still have to worry about COVID,” said Guthrie. “We do not want COVID coming in through our borders. We absolutely want to have our border patrol to be able to send people back if they have the fear, or appear, that they could have had COVID come into our country.

Guthrie said there are things that the nation has learned during the pandemic, making Americans more prepared in the event of emergencies like an increase in COVID-19 cases.