Biden unveils $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus package
US President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled an ambitious coronavirus relief proposal. The plan, reportedly worth $1.9tn is designed to combat the ill effects of the virus and ease the suffering occasioned by the pandemic.
No Time to Waste
Biden’s transition team had earlier on Thursday revealed details of the aid package. It includes $1 tn in relief to affected families, $350bn for state and local governments and $160bn to bolster vaccination, testing and other health programs.
Making his address from Wilmington, Delaware, Biden said: “During this pandemic, millions of Americans, through no fault of their own, have lost the dignity and respect that comes with a job and a paycheck. There is real pain overwhelming the real economy.”
Biden continued: “There’s no time to waste, we have to act, and we have to act now.” He also revealed plans to increase direct payments for individuals recently approved by Congress: “We will finish the job of getting a total of $2,000 in relief to people who need it the most.”
Covid-19 Is the Top Priority
One of the biggest campaign promises of Joe Biden is that he was going to get Americans through the coronavirus pandemic. He has doubled down on that promise, recently vowing to increase vaccination efforts. He’s also announced plans for the administering of 100 million Covid-19 vaccines during his first 100 days in office.
The US is currently experiencing a full-blown health crisis, with over 385,000 COVID-19-related deaths already. The unemployment figures are also stark, with weekly unemployment claims now up to 965,000 from about 225,000.
Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has said that Biden’s Covid-19 relief package will be his top priority, but Biden is also looking at other sectors. Recently, he called on lawmakers to extend a national eviction moratorium, due to expire on the 31st of January. He plans to provide $30bn in rental and utility assistance for those struggling with their bills.