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White House COVID team to wind down as public health emergency expires in May

ABC News 3/23/2023

The White House COVID-19 team will wind down as the country moves out of the emergency phase of the pandemic, multiple administration officials confirmed to ABC News.

The public health emergency is set to expire on May 11 after being in place since early 2020. The end will impact public health measures afforded by the pandemic, like expanded Medicaid enrollment, subsidized costs of COVID tests, and data gathering on cases and deaths across the country.

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It will also mark a "new phase" of COVID response, an administration official said, which will be mirrored by a restructuring within the White House.

"The COVID team size will reflect the new phase that we're in as the public health emergency ends," an administration official said.

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And Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID coordinator, is also likely to leave, according to another administration official.

His departure is expected around the time the emergency ends, a member of the White House COVID team said. Many members of the current response team have already returned to their original agencies or other jobs, the team member added.

The Washington Post was the first to report the news on the team winding down.

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In a statement, a senior administration official told ABC News that "COVID no longer disrupts our lives because of investments and our efforts to mitigate its worst impacts."

"COVID is not over, fighting it remains an administration priority, and transitioning out of the emergency phase is the natural evolution of the COVID response," the official said.

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