Good news, everybody. The COVID-19 pandemic now has an end date, at least according to the Biden administration.
On Monday evening, news broke that the White House will be announcing an end to the emergency footing of the federal government regarding the coronavirus. So what’s the date? Does it end next week? Next month?
The answer is neither. In fact, the end date is being set on…May 11th?
🚨NEW – THE WHITE HOUSE will announce shortly that it plans to end the public heath emergency for Covid-19 on May 11, according to multiple Democratic sources.
This will be part of a SAP opposing gop Covid bills
Me and @bresreports
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 30, 2023
Who knew that The Science™ could pinpoint the end of a years-long pandemic three and a half months into the future? What an oddly specific date to pick.
Of course, there’s no actual science behind this decision. The White House can’t possibly know what the state of COVID-19 will be in May. The pandemic could be better or it could be worse, but given it’s currently a non-factor in most people’s lives, it makes no sense to wait around to end the declaration of emergency. That makes this decision purely a political ploy. The question is what the ploy is.
One theory is that the administration needs to keep the grift going a bit longer. Obviously, there’s been a lot of money changing hands during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the selling of vaccines to the government assistance that continues to be doled out. Waiting until the summer allows spending programs to finish paying out and for more procurement to be done before the emergency powers end.
But I think there’s another possibility. Namely, pushing the end of the pandemic off until May allows Biden to coincide it with the probable launch of his 2024 reelection campaign. The summer prior to a presidential election year is primetime for candidates. It’s when they announce, kick things off (unless you are Donald Trump and do it six months early), and set the tone for the coming year.
There’s no doubt Biden would love to be able to claim victory over COVID-19 just as he’s ramping up his reelection bid. It’d be shameless but completely on brand. It’d also be insane given how ineffective the administration has been on the subject. Ending the pandemic in May of 2023 is not a victory. It’s an admission of failure.