Pandemic is Over Act

Floor Speech

Date: Jan. 31, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. MILLER-MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, as both a physician and the former Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, I agree with what President Biden said in September of last year: The pandemic is over. More specifically, even though SARS-CoV-2 is still circulating, it is endemic. The public health emergency is and should be over.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to support H.R. 382, which would acknowledge the truth of the President's words and finally put an end to the public health emergency.

When COVID-19 first reached our shores, the public health emergency declaration was a tool that helped our country to mobilize, develop testing, develop vaccines, and to distribute PPE and institute our manufacturing sector. However, this emergency declaration is no longer needed, and instead of putting an end to it, the President has continually renewed it with no end in sight.

For example, we have already extended telehealth for 2 years. From mask mandates and vaccine mandates to extending Medicaid expansion to previously ineligible participants and student loan forgiveness, the President and this administration are using the public health emergency to expand government overreach.

What is irresponsible is not putting a transition in place during this past year.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 382 and put an end to this outdated, bloated government overreach.