(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Anthony G. Brown, David Trone and Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.) yesterday in writing to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar requesting the extension of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. 

The COVID-19 public health emergency declaration, set to expire on July 25, helps ensure that states like Maryland continue to receive significant federal resources and support as the pandemic rages across the country.

The lawmakers write: “Our constituents rely on many of the flexibilities enabled by the public health emergency declaration. The increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) is essential to Maryland’s ability to ramp up medical care during the pandemic. In addition, waivers to facilitate the provision of telehealth services have proven critical to providers and patients alike, as they allow for our constituents to be seen by medical providers to address other pressing health issues (including mental health and substance use disorder) without having to expose themselves to potential COVID-19 infection.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact communities across our state, and we cannot afford to slow our efforts to combat it,” continued the lawmakers. “Extending the public health emergency will ensure that Marylanders can access the resources they need to stay safe and healthy during this crisis.”

A copy of the letter can be found here.