EPPC Scholars Call on HHS Secretary Becerra to End Covid-19 Public Health “Emergency”

March 15, 2022

Scholars at the Ethics and Public Policy Center today sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra urging him to immediately revoke his declaration that a Covid-19 public health emergency exists. The current emergency declaration, which was renewed for the 8th time on January 16, is set to expire next month.

The EPPC scholars wrote, “The overwhelming majority of Americans have been vaccinated or have natural immunity, and everyone has free access to potentially life-saving and disease-mitigating measures. Nevertheless, government and private actors continue to impose vaccination mandates, mask mandates, and other restrictions on Americans’ daily lives in reliance on your continued emergency declarations. We therefore ask that you immediately revoke your declaration because it is causing real and present harm and because there is no longer a public health emergency to address.”

Signers of the letter include:

  • Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D.
    EPPC President
  • Aaron Kheriaty, M.D.
    EPPC Fellow and Director of EPPC’s Bioethics and American Democracy program
  • Aaron Rothstein, M.D.
    EPPC Fellow, Bioethics and American Democracy program
  • Roger Severino, J.D.
    EPPC Senior Fellow and Director of EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project
  • Rachel N. Morrison, J.D.
    Fellow, EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project

The letter summarizes a substantial body of evidence that supports ending the emergency declaration, including that 81.5% of Americans have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine and that tens of millions more Americans have acquired natural immunity through infection. Because of the widespread availability of vaccines, therapeutics, masks, and testing to those who wish to further protect themselves, the scholars argue, “there is simply insufficient reason to mandate school closures, lockdowns, masking, or vaccination.”

The letter goes to recount the “staggeringly high costs” of interventions such as school closures, lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccine mandates, and concludes that “the costs of these mandates clearly outweigh their benefits, and it is time for them to end.”

To read the full letter, click here.

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