Biden will continue to provide FEMA virus assistance to states until April 1st
The White House announced on Tuesday that President Joe Biden will extend the federal government’s 100% reimbursement of COVID-19 emergency response costs to states, tribes, and territories until April 1, 2022.
In a conference call on Tuesday morning, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients informed governors that Biden is approving the extension of Federal Emergency Management Agency support to help continue FEMA-supported work, such as Vaccination clinics and public education activities around injections.
The extension also continues to provide 100% federal compensation for National Guard personnel deployed to help fight the virus, including those responsible for assisting local hospitals in treating coronavirus cases.
The extension to early 2022 shows that after the premature announcement of victory over the pandemic in July, the Biden administration is preparing to continue the COVID-19 interruption until next year.
A White House official detailed the news to the Associated Press on Tuesday and also had a private call with the governors.
According to the official, Zients told the governors: “This is an extension of the order signed by the president on the second day of office, and will ensure that you continue to have the resources you need to fight the gun and fight the virus.”
Biden signed an order the day after taking office, directing FEMA to pay 100% of the state emergency expenses related to the virus by September 2021. In August, Biden expanded its coverage to the end of the year due to a surge in cases caused by the more contagious delta variant of the virus.
Throughout the summer, governors complained that Biden would not approve the first extension until mid-August. The White House hopes that the seven-week notice that federal support will continue will give states greater flexibility in the use of FEMA resources and National Guard support for vaccination, especially since more than 100 million Americans are now eligible for booster doses and 28 million children aged 5-11 are newly approved shooting games.