Thomas Gallatin / October 18, 2022

Biden Extends COVID Emergency Powers … Again

A month ago, Biden claimed the pandemic was over, but he is loath to give up the emergency powers justified by it.

“The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over.” So said Joe Biden a month ago. And as if to prove his pronouncement, he added: “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.”

For all intents and purposes, the COVID pandemic is over. Hospitalizations and deaths from COVID are way down and have been for nearly a year now. COVID is now effectively on a similar status with the annual flu. Yet over the weekend Biden extended his COVID emergency powers for another 90 days. Why? The answer has little to do with COVID and much more to do with empowering big government.

Biden and company want Congress to approve an additional $22.4 billion in COVID relief funding. COVID relief has become a piggy bank for the Biden administration, as he and his team have used the funds to expand Medicaid benefits, for example, as well as to launch his student loan “forgiveness” gambit.

As Lord Acton noted about the corrupting influence of power, there’s that added component: Once people have attained power, they are often loath to relinquish it. 

Once again, we also see here that the complaint Democrats most often voice against Republicans — that they are a “threat to democracy” — is actually more applicable to their own side. Yet where are all their Leftmedia cohorts ringing the alarm bells over this blatant government overreach? Unsurprisingly, they are silent, proving that their real concern is not about protecting the democratic process but about promoting the political agenda of the Democrat Party.

There is, however, one silver lining in Biden extending the COVID emergency. Doing so effectively keeps in place the Title 42 immigration rule, which allows U.S. Costumes and Border Patrol to more rapidly process and deport migrants caught illegally crossing the border. Of course, Biden sought to end this, but a judge prevented him, noting that as long as the emergency is in place, Biden couldn’t pick and choose what aspect of government the emergency status applied to. It’s not that Title 42 has prevented three million illegal crossings, but it does give the Border Patrol a tool.

Come November, should Republicans retake control of Congress, one of their first orders of business needs to be to pull back the reins on Biden and end this unending state of emergency. Biden was right last month when he declared the pandemic was over. It’s time his administration fully recognizes it as well.

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