Posted 9 months ago
President-elect Joe Biden revealed his $1.9 trillion relief package in a prime-time address Thursday — focusing on a new round of stimulus checks to help struggling Americans and an ambitious vaccine distribution plan to control the pandemic.
Biden's plan would dedicate more than $1 trillion of the $1.9 trillion price tag for direct stimulus, officials said, while $400 billion would go toward COVID-related projects, including the nationwide vaccination program, and $440 billion toward relief for communities and businesses.
The plan includes direct payments of up to $1,400 to families in need, that when combined with the recent $600 stimulus payment would deliver on Biden's pledge to pass $2,000 of direct payments, along with a $400 weekly unemployment insurance benefit through September and a child tax credit.
As part of the $400 billion in funding for COVID-related projects, Biden's plan would allocate $170 billion to reopening the majority of K-8 schools within the first 100 days of his administration, including $50 billion to increasing testing procedures at schools.
The proposal comes after Trump administration officials finally began sharing critical Covid vaccine data with Biden's transition team.
"We have had sort of uneven cooperation, if you will, from the Trump administration. And I think it's clear that what we're inheriting from the Trump administration is much worse than we could have imagined. There's no existing infrastructure for vaccinations," one official said.
The Trump administration has been heavily criticized for its distribution strategy for vaccines. As of Thursday morning, out of more than 30 million vaccine doses distributed nationwide, just over 11 million doses have been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Meantime, antibody treatments could help ease the record number of Covid hospitalizations. Public health officials are wondering why they are sitting on shelves going unused.
"This is the first time during the pandemic that I can recall when our resources far exceed demand," Dr. William Fales, medical director for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said Thursday.
Topic: US News
Tags: Covid-19 Coronavirus Joe Biden Stimulus Checks