WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is extending 100% reimbursement of the federal government’s COVID-19 emergency response costs for states, tribes and territories through April 1, 2022, the White House is announcing Tuesday.
On a conference call Tuesday morning, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Ziants is informing governors that Biden is in the midst of a federal emergency to help continue FEMA-backed efforts like vaccination clinics and public education campaigns around shots. The managements are approving the extension of agency support.
The expansion also continues to provide 100% federal reimbursement for National Guard personnel deployed to help combat the virus, including work to assist local hospitals treating coronavirus cases.
An extension to early 2022 is a sign that after premature declarations of victory over the pandemic In July, the Biden administration is preparing for continued COVID-19 disruptions until next year.
A White House official detailed the announcement Tuesday to the Associated Press with a private call to governors.
“This is an extension of the order that the president signed on his second day in office and will ensure that you have the resources you need to lay down arms and fight the virus,” Zints planned to tell governors, according to the official. According .
On his second day in office, Biden signed an order directing FEMA to cover 100% of the virus-related state emergency costs by September 2021. In August, as cases surged due to the more transmissible delta version of the virus, Biden extended coverage until the end of the year.
Over the summer, governors complained that Biden waited until mid-August to approve the first extension. The White House hopes that seven weeks’ notice of continuing federal support will give states more flexibility in using FEMA resources and the National Guard to support vaccinations, especially now that more than 100 million Americans are on the receiving end of booster doses. and 28 million 5- to 11-year-olds have recently been approved for the shots.