What a time. Just as we thought the worst of the pandemic was behind us, Covid spun the block with the Omicron variant, creating a new surge that threatens to make 2022 look a lot like the hot mess we’ve experienced over the past 24 months.
As many schools look to return to a virtual setting and businesses prepare for a possible shutdown, President Joe Biden has made a major announcement: The suspension on student loan debt will be extended until May 1.
“Given these considerations, today my Administration is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments for an additional 90 days — through May 1, 2022 — as we manage the ongoing pandemic and further strengthen our economic recovery,” Biden said in a statement. “Meanwhile, the Department of Education will continue working with borrowers to ensure they have the support they need to transition smoothly back into repayment and advance economic stability for their own households and for our nation.”
The reversal comes less than two weeks after White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted that the administration intended on restarting federal student loans in February 2022, a decision that drew harsh criticism as millions of Americans were still working to recover from the personal and financial effects of the pandemic.
Biden also announced a plan to distribute 500 million at-home rapid tests for free to Americans — the administration’s biggest investment in rapid testing to date.
“Your choice can be the difference between life or death,” Biden said in a stern message to those still unvaccinated.