As public health emergency ends, pandemic-era support programs have already been fading away

WASHINGTON (AP) — The formal end of the national Public Health Emergency on Thursday is largely a symbolic and psychological step, representing the country’s formal emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic.

But behind the scenes, several core aspects of America’s pandemic-era emergency safety net are also coming to a close, from extra food assistance to automatic reenrollment in Medicaid. While these measures were always designed to be temporary, their expiration is inevitably producing hardship and confusion.

“People are starting to get their jobs back, but it’s still not all the way back and everything is more expensive than before the pandemic,” said Radha Muthiah, president of the Capital Area Food Bank. “The people we serve always seem to be playing catch-up.”

At Thursday’s White House briefing, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre took note of the end of the public health emergency. “The work won’t stop,” she said, with the administration working to

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