While President Biden mulls declaring a "medical emergency" to promote broader access to abortions, his administration appears ready to extend the ongoing (now 30-month-old) "public health emergency" over COVID-19.
Just this morning we see leaks via NYTimes of an "immune evasive" new variant that will "surge" across America...
The White House is going to warn Americans that a BA5 surge is coming. Some experts think it’s already here. @AshishKJha46 tells me it’s the most “immune-evasive” sub-variant we have seen. He and Drs. Fauci & Walensky will brief reporters this a.m.https://t.co/mJyl0S8qAl— Sheryl Gay Stolberg (@SherylNYT) July 12, 2022
And none other than Anthony Fauci warned during a press conference this morning that "those who were infected with the Omicron variant BA1 do not have good protection against variants BA4 and BA5."
Which prompted CDC Director Walensky to urge all Americans to get their second booster shot (which is odd since there's no science that we have seen that shows the boosters offer any protection against the new variants):
NOW - CDC Director: "My message is simple: It is essential that these Americans get their second booster shot right away." pic.twitter.com/S3JmmtBvJL— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) July 12, 2022
To offer some context for where America is in this 'emergency', the charts below shows the current rate of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths...
With hospitalizations and deaths having plunged to far-from-emergency levels, the average American voter could be forgiven for asking (without being canceled) why we would need to maintain an emergency status so long after the pandemic has faded from most Americans' daily lives (and fear of infection has been replaced by fear of inflation).
The Biden Administration claims the declaration provides critical regulatory flexibility, but The Wall Street Journal suggests there may be two more notable reasons why the Democrats are unwilling to give up this medical tyranny...
One reason is that in March 2020 Congress barred states from kicking ineligible people off Medicaid rolls during the emergency in return for more federal funding. Medicaid enrollment has ballooned to 95 million - 30% of Americans are now enrolled - from 71 million in December 2019. The emergency expands Medicaid in GOP states that opted out of the ObamaCare expansion. It is also a boon for insurers in states that pay per Medicaid participant. Hospitals and physician groups support extending the emergency because they worry that state Medicaid payments will decline if the federal fillip goes away.
Another reason: Congress in March 2020 suspended food-stamp work requirements during the emergency and sweetened benefits in states that maintained their own declarations. As of April, 41.2 million Americans were receiving food stamps - an average of $228 monthly per person - which is about 4.4 million more than before the pandemic.
So, 4.4 million American voters could lose food stamp benefits if the emergency is halted and insurers, hospitals, and physician groups would lose considerable amounts of government money.
Seems like with the number of job openings remaining extremely high in America, some of those 4.4 million Americans could be more productive (given that COVID fear should be negligible now if you believe that vaccines work?) and while the lobbying dollars from insurers and hospitals help pay the bills for the politicians, we suspect they will find other topics to pressure lawmakers on that don't enable totalitarianism.
As WSJ concluded, COVID shouldn’t be an emergency only when it’s useful to expand the welfare state.
Finally, we wonder if the administration can maintain this 'public health emergency' all the way to November 2024?