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Biden unveiling $1.9T plan to stem virus and steady economy | News – Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri 2021-01-14 18:14:46 –

Wilmington, Delaware (AP) — Presidential election Joe Biden turned the pandemic on Thursday, accelerating the deployment of vaccines, and personal, state, municipal, and long-term economic implications.

The legislation, called the “American Rescue Plan,” meets Biden’s goal of delivering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of administration and at the same time reopening most schools by spring. did. In parallel, while public health efforts are pursuing a pandemic advantage, it will provide another round of assistance to stabilize the economy, planned before a speech by Biden on Thursday night. Said the aide who explained.

This includes most Americans’ $ 1,400 checks, which is the sum of the $ 600 provided by the latest COVID-19 bill, plus the $ 2,000 requested by Biden. The plan also plans to temporarily raise unemployment benefits and extend the eviction and foreclosure moratorium until September.

And it steps into long-term democratic policy goals such as raising the minimum wage to $ 15 per hour, expanding paid leave for workers, and increasing tax credits for families with children. The last item will make it easier for women to get back to work, which in turn will help the economy recover.

The political outlook for the bill remained uncertain. In a joint statement, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer praised Biden for including liberal priorities and said they would act swiftly to get past it. .. However, Democrats have narrow margins in both Houses of Parliament, and Republicans have boosted issues from raising minimum wages to more funding to the state, demanding that they include priorities such as corporate social responsibility. I will.

Emergency legislation is paid in debt and adds to the trillions of debt already borne by the government to combat the pandemic. Aide said Biden would argue that additional spending and borrowing would be needed to prevent the economy from slipping into deeper holes. Interest rates are low, making debt easier to manage. Prior to his speech on Thursday night, the aide explained the plan on condition of anonymity.

Biden has long believed that economic recovery is closely linked to the control of the coronavirus. “Our work begins with putting COVID under control,” he declared in a victory speech. “We cannot restore the economy, regain vitality, or enjoy the most precious moments of life.

The plan comes when the fragmented country is in the pandemic’s most dangerous wave grip ever. So far, more than 385,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States, weekly unemployment allowances surged to 965,000, and companies cut workers due to increased infectious diseases, according to government figures Thursday. I am forced to dismiss.

Under Biden’s multifaceted strategy, about $ 400 billion will be spent directly in the fight against the pandemic, with the rest focused on financial remedies and state and local aid.

In addition to the approximately $ 8 billion already approved by Congress, approximately $ 20 billion will be allocated to a more disciplined focus on vaccination. Biden wants to set up a mass vaccination center and send mobile units to hard-to-reach areas.

The plan will provide $ 50 billion to expand testing. This is considered the key to reopening most schools by the end of the first 100 days of the new administration. Approximately $ 130 billion will be allocated to help schools reopen without risking further transmission.

The plan focuses on funding the employment of 100,000 public health workers, encouraging people to be vaccinated, and tracking contact with people infected with the coronavirus.

There are also proposals to boost investment in gene sequencing to assist in the tracking of new viral strains, including more contagious mutants identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Throughout the plan, the focus is on ensuring that the pandemic-bearing minority community is not short-changed with vaccines and treatments, the aide said.

New proposals will require doubling basic efforts.

Biden urges Americans to negate their pandemic fatigue, re-promise to wear masks, practice social distances, and avoid indoor gatherings, especially large ones. It is still the surest way to delay the wave of COVID-19, with more than 4,400 deaths reported on Tuesday.

Biden’s biggest challenge is “to win the hearts of the American people and follow his leadership,” said Dr. Lina Wen, a public health expert and emergency physician.

With the support of Congress and the expertise of private and government scientists, the Trump administration has provided two highly effective vaccines, and more are being prepared. However, a month after the first injection, the national vaccination campaign got off to a slow start, with about 10.3 million people being the first, despite more than 29 million vaccinations. I received two vaccinations.

Biden believes that the key to speeding it up is not only to provide more vaccines, but also to work closely with states and communities to shoot into the arms of more people. .. The Trump administration provided vaccines to the states and set guidelines on who should prioritize injections, but it was largely up to state and local officials to organize vaccination campaigns.

“This requires coordination and resources at all levels,” said Dr. Nadingrasia, Executive Vice President of the Independent American Health Trust. “There is a clear commitment by the (next) administration to meet the needs of the community.”

Biden has set a goal of managing 100 million shots in the first 100 days. A recent estimate by the American Hospital Association is that the pace of vaccination is approaching 1 million shots per day, but it takes 1.8 million shots per day to reach widespread or “herd” immunity by the summer. .. Wen says the pace is even higher, which should be close to 3 million a day.

It remains unclear how the new administration will deal with the issue of vaccine evasion, the suspicions and allegations that prevent many from being shot. Pollsters show that it is a particular problem among black Americans. “It’s important to recognize why it exists, gain trust in the community, and work to build trust in vaccines,” Gracia said.

Next Wednesday, when Biden becomes president, he will celebrate the anniversary of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States.


Associated Press writer Josh Boak contributed to this report.

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