US Senate passes bill to end national Covid emergency

Washington: The US Senate has passed a bill to end the national Covid-19 emergency which was declared by former President Donald Trump on March 13, 2020.

The 68-23 vote on Wednesday was overwhelmingly bipartisan and the joint resolution, which cleared the House earlier this year, now heads to President Joe Biden, reports CNN.

A White House official told CNN that while the President “strongly opposes” this bill, the administration is already winding down the emergency by May 11, the date previously announced for the end of the authority.

“If the Senate passed the measure and it heads to Biden’s desk, he will sign it, and the administration will continue working with agencies to wind down the national emergency with as much notice as possible to Americans who could potentially be impacted,” the official was quoted as saying.

The White House said in January that Biden “strongly opposes” the Republican resolution to end the Covid-19 emergency, but did not threaten a veto.

House Democrats largely voted against the bill when it was brought to the floor in February except for 11 Democrats who joined Republicans in support.

With the highest number of cases and fatalities, the US remains the worst-hit country by the Covid pandemic.

As of Thursday morning, the country’s caseload and death toll stood at 106,163,408 and 1,154,353, respectively.

IANS

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