Biden administration renews COVID-19 'public health emergency' declaration

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The Biden administration has once again renewed a declaration that a “public health emergency” exists due to the continued spread of the coronavirus. 

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra issued the renewal on Monday – the sixth time the federal government has done so since the initial declaration was made at the start of the pandemic last year. 

Following the declarations, the federal government can tap into certain funds to combat the public health emergency, amongst other actions. 

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 10. (AP)

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As of Tuesday morning, the coronavirus has infected more than 190,939,839 people across 192 countries and territories, resulting in at least 4,096,422 deaths. In the U.S., all 50 states plus the District of Columbia have reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, tallying more than 34,132,079 illnesses and at least 609,231 deaths. 

Health officials also said Tuesday that the Delta variant of the coronavirus now accounts for around 83% of cases in the U.S. 

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