Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and Vice President Mike Pence have indicated to governors the Trump administration’s plan to extend the coronavirus public health emergency before it expires on July 25, 2020. Governors and health care officials have been pushing for the administration to commit to the extension for weeks. The declaration of the coronavirus public health emergency allowed for a massive scale-up of telehealth visits and emergency use of new drugs and tests along with other measures. Public health officials warn the coronavirus will challenge the country for months to come and the expiration of the current public health emergency would hinder efforts to fight the virus.
Public health emergencies must be renewed every 90 days by HHS. The current coronavirus public health emergency was declared in January and was renewed in late April. If another extension is implemented the declaration would last until late October.