ERIE, Pa. (Erie News Now) — The Biden Administration announced plans last week for the Covid public health emergency to end on May 11th, but some health experts say those who have relied on those emergency circumstances may be affected.
“People are going to lose their health insurance,” said Dr. Becky Dawson, an epidemiologist and Erie News Now contributor. “They’re not going to be able to get testing vaccinations treatment for Covid-19 if they are uninsured and can’t pay out of pocket.”
“We’re going to see individuals who are already experiencing food insecurity caused by inflation really start to feel it as their benefits decrease, some going away entirely. And I think we’re just going to really start to feel how broken the system is, without this bandaid of an emergency holding the pieces together.”
President Biden also reassured Americans that “Covid no longer controls our lives” in his State of the Union address.
But Dawson says the decision puts politics before people.
“The decision to declare the emergency over is a political decision,” said Dawson. “It has policy, it has economic [reasoning], and it has real workforce issues for federal, state, and local government. It doesn’t mean that tomorrow we wake up and Covid case counts are gone, and no one’s dying from Covid, it just means that we’re shifting priorities.”