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Biden shares US$1.9 trillion relief plan


Biden shares US$1.9 trillion relief plan
US President Joe Biden. (Reuters)

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Washington – President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled a US$1.9 trillion (£1.4tn) stimulus plan for the coronavirus-sapped United States economy before he takes office next week.

If passed by Congress, it would include $1trillion for households, with direct payments of US$1 400 to all Americans.

The relief proposal includes US $415 billion to fight the virus and $440 billion for small businesses.

Biden, a Democrat, has promised to beat the pandemic that has killed more than 385 000 people in the US.

He campaigned last year vowing to do a better job handling the virus than President Donald Trump, a Republican.

Biden’s proposal comes as a winter surge of the coronavirus breaks records.

Each day brings well over 200 000 new cases and the daily death toll sometimes tops 4 000.

What did Biden say?

In a primetime speech on Thursday night from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, he said: “A crisis of deep human suffering is in plain sight and there’s no time to waste.”

“The very health of our nation is at stake,” he added. “We have to act and we have to act now.”

The incoming president said: “There will be stumbles, but I will always be honest with you about both the progress we’re making and what setbacks we meet.”

What’s the coronavirus plan?

Biden wants to pump US$20 billion into vaccinating Americans, including setting up mass vaccination hubs and dispatching mobile units to remote areas.

Two effective vaccines were delivered under the Trump administration, but health officials say the rollout needs to speed up.

“The vaccine rollout in the United States has been a dismal failure this far,” said Biden. His administration aims to deliver 100 million jabs in 100 days. (BBC)