In a statement released on Monday, the White House announced that vaccination requirements for travelers to the United States and for government employees would be ending on May 11th. The move comes as the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly slowed down in the United States, with Covid-19 deaths declining by 95% since January 2021 and hospitalizations dropping nearly 91%. The White House also noted that global Covid-19 deaths are at their lowest levels since the start of the pandemic.
The statement said, “Since January 2021, Covid-19 deaths have declined by 95 percent and hospitalizations are down nearly 91 percent. Globally, Covid-19 deaths are at their lowest levels since the start of the pandemic.” The statement also credited vaccine requirements for bolstering vaccination efforts across the nation and saving millions of lives as part of a broader vaccination campaign.
However, the vaccination mandates for government employees and international air travelers had sparked political backlash in the United States. While many countries had already implemented similar policies, the domestic vaccination requirements were met with criticism from some.
President Joe Biden had previously announced in April that he was calling an end to the national health emergency, which had been in place for over three years. This led to the lifting of various restrictions and the halting of extraordinary government measures, including funding for free Covid testing and vaccinations.