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The Biden Administration puts new eviction moratorium after a federal ban expires – Houston Public Media


United States President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 3, 2021, about Covid vaccinations and his governments’ progress in fighting the pandemic.

Days after a national eviction moratorium expired, the Biden government issued a new, more limited lockdown on Tuesday, which will remain in effect until October 3.

Like the previous order, the two-month moratorium enacted on Tuesday comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new eviction ban applies to parts of the United States where the coronavirus calls a “significant” and “high” spread of the coronavirus, as the CDC calls it.

As of Tuesday afternoon, this is the vast majority of US counties.

The order cites the rise of the Delta variant and says: “Without this order, evictions in these” [higher transmission] Areas would likely exacerbate the rise in cases. “

“Wherever we are with such high disease rates, we felt a new, tailor-made order [was needed] to ensure that… working Americans facing eviction can be stably housed during this really meager, challenging time, ”said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, told NPR All Things Considered.

The federal ban expired Saturday night, affecting millions of Americans who had the potential to be removed from their homes if they defaulted on rent.

Since the moratorium expired, progressives had put pressure on the Biden government to extend the clearance period.

The administration previously said it did not have the legal authority to take such a measure. The new order could face legal challenges.

Gene Sperling, who oversees the White House’s introduction of COVID-19 aid, told reporters Monday that Biden had “checked four times” to see if he had the legal grounds to unilaterally extend the moratorium, but said he ultimately did hands were tied by a ruling by the Supreme Court that prevented the CDC from extending its previous moratorium beyond the end of July. A last-minute attempt by Congress to extend the ban failed.

Sperling rejected criticism from the Democrats on Capitol Hill, who argued that the White House should have acted sooner to extend the previous moratorium. He said the Supreme Court had made it clear that “Congressional approval” was required on the matter.

Sperling added that Biden urged state and local governments to extend or pass eviction moratoriums themselves, noting that billions of dollars in rental subsidies are still available.

In remarks to reporters on Tuesday, Biden admitted the legal dilemma.

“Every call for [a] Moratorium based on the recent Supreme Court decision is likely to run into obstacles, ”he said. “I have signaled to the CDC that they should look at other alternatives [other] than the existing one that the court has declared that they will not continue. “

For days a group of Democrats in Congress had argued that the prevalence and severity of the Delta variant made it necessary to continue the moratorium.

Missouri Democratic MP Cori Bush, who was a driving force in efforts to raise awareness of the moratorium’s expiration, slept outside the US Capitol in protest.

Bush, along with New York Democratic MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others, urged their House colleagues to return to Washington after they left and urged the White House to intervene.

A “largely avoidable tragedy”

During his remarks on Tuesday, Biden reiterated the danger of the Delta variant, noting that it now accounts for more than 80% of all current coronavirus cases in the United States.

Describing the current surge as a “largely avoidable tragedy”, the president stressed that, unlike previous surges in the virus, “we have the tools to prevent this surge if our shops, schools and societies close”.

He noted that despite the increase in cases in most parts of the country, there has been no comparable increase in hospital admissions or deaths due to the effectiveness of the vaccine.

“We have a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said Biden. “If you are vaccinated you are very unlikely to get COVID-19, and even if you do, you are unlikely to show any symptoms and if so, they will most likely be very mild. Vaccinated people are almost never hospitalized with COVID-19. “

He pointed to Vermont, the most heavily vaccinated state in the country, which has only five new cases of COVID-19 per day for every 100,000 people living there.

In contrast, he found that Florida and Texas – states with lower vaccination rates – account for a third of all new COVID-19 cases in the country.

He urged people to get the vaccine before it is too late.

“Right now, too many people are dying or watching a loved one die and saying, ‘If I just got the vaccine.’ “

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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