Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney Demands Biden End the Coronavirus Public Health Emergency

Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., is interviewed by CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images in her L
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) on Tuesday wrote a letter to President Biden, urging him to end the coronavirus public health emergency following his recent admission that the Chinese coronavirus pandemic is now “over.”

After months of efforts to keep mask mandates in place and force vaccinations on American workers, Biden stated during a weekend appearance on 60 Minutes that “the pandemic is over.”

“We still have a problem with Covid. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. It’s — but the pandemic is over,” Biden said.

“If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it’s changing. And I think this is a perfect example of it,” he added. 

His remarks drew fierce criticism, as Biden has long used the pandemic to expand the power of the federal government, begrudgingly accepting defeat after a Florida judge ruled the mask mandate unconstitutional earlier this year. His administration accepted an even greater defeat months prior after the Supreme Court struck down the massive vaccine mandate on employers, which would have affected tens of millions of U.S. workers via the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

President Joe Biden removes his face mask as he walks to speak to members of the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, Aug. 26, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden removes his face mask as he walks to speak to members of the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, August 26, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

As a result of Biden’s recent declaration, Tenney wrote a letter to Biden, reminding the president that his admission — that the pandemic is over — has already been widely recognized by the vast majority of Americans, who have been carrying on with their normal lives for well over a year. 

“Now, as the United States winds down its third calendar year under a COVID public health emergency (PHE), I write to you today urging you to act on your words: end the state of emergency,” Tenney wrote, explaining that the need for the PHE “no longer exists”:

Former Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar first issued a determination that a PHE exists on January 31, 2020, pursuant to section 319 of the Public Health Service Act. At the time, COVID-19 presented a clear threat to the American people, justifying the PHE. Doing so permitted the Trump administration to ensure the widespread availability of free COVID tests and vaccines and to take other actions as needed so that our country could meet the challenges of the moment. 

However, with the end of the pandemic, the need for the PHE no longer exists. Even the White House’s top medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has said that the virus likely will never be eradicated. Of course, the appropriate response, then, is to learn to live with and manage the virus, not to perpetuate a constant state of emergency and government control that allows our rights to be infringed upon. Instead of renewing the PHE, you should terminate it consistent with your assessment that the pandemic is over. The American people are returning to normal life. The Federal government must as well.

Tenney requested Biden provide an explanation as to why he would choose to renew the PHE if he goes that route, particularly in light of the fact that he himself declared the pandemic “over.”

Others have made similar calls:


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