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February 1, 2023

BREAKING: The Pandemic Is (Still) Over

Nearly three years after the COVID-19 pandemic began, Joe Biden has finally called an end to the “public health emergency” — but not until May 11.

Who says the pandemic is over?

Back in September, in the midst of an important midterm election campaign, Joe Biden told us on national TV, “The pandemic is over.”

It made good political sense. After all, he knew at the time that most of the country had moved on, and Democrats had a midterm election to win.

But when it comes down to handing out government largesse, the Biden administration is holding on for dear life to the “pandemic emergency” designation — and it’s now going on three years. Perhaps that’s why Biden said yesterday that the emergency would end “when the Supreme Court ends it.”

Never let a crisis go to waste and all that.

The Biden administration has dragged its feet on ending the “emergency,” grudgingly setting an expiration date of May 11. (Nothing says “science” quite like setting a date.) In response, House Republicans passed the Pandemic is Over Act on Tuesday, 220-210. Speaker Kevin McCarthy noted that 47% of the federal workforce was still not back to work at the office, saying this bill would make federal employees “provide the service … that the taxpayers are paying them for.”

This wouldn’t normally concern the regime because there’s a roadblock in the Senate (not to mention a veto threat), but it appears the White House could be worried about public perception. To that end, the Office of Management and Budget countered in a Statement of Administration Policy that ending the state of emergency prematurely would “create wide-ranging chaos and uncertainty throughout the health care system” by threatening the extra Medicaid funding that states were receiving, as well as disrupting providers and putting telehealth for veterans in jeopardy.

The statement also made the claim that enacting the GOP legislation would bring an end to the Title 42 policy at the border. However, as Washington Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers stated: “Any decision to end Title 42 is not tied to the [public health emergency]. President Biden alone will be responsible for the decision to end Title 42.”

Then there’s Biden’s student loan heist, which is also “justified” based on supposedly continuing pandemic hardship. That’s likely what Biden was referring to with his bizarre comment about the Supreme Court ending the pandemic because the justices are weighing the legality of Biden’s clearly unconstitutional bid to wipe out some student loans. The same could be said of court battles over mask and vaccine mandates.

Of course, those policies were always about the politics, not the law. Democrats reap political benefit regardless of the outcome, though maybe especially when “heartless” Republicans beat them in court to take away money or protection from the needy and vulnerable.

Meanwhile, there may not be much reason to trust all those government employees who’ve been “working” from home, either. “Tens of thousands of federal employees stole taxpayers’ money by filing bogus pandemic loan requests,” reports The Washington Times.

It’s an allegation that infuriated Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst, who has joined fellow Senator Rand Paul in investigating the missing funds. “It is appalling,” she wrote, “for anyone fortunate enough to have the reliability of a government paycheck to take advantage of financial assistance intended to provide a lifeline to Americans who lost their jobs or were unable to work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These misbehaved bureaucrats have also tarnished the reputation of the other dedicated civil servants, many of whom worked long hours in essential jobs during the pandemic.”

Again, never let a crisis go to waste if you can line your pockets from it. The population has moved on from COVID, but Team Biden obviously just can’t let go of emergency powers.

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