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US starts distributing COVID relief cheques

US starts distributing COVID relief cheques
A sign marks the U.S Treasury Department in Washington, U.S., August 6, 2018. (Reuters)

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WASHINGTON – The United States Treasury on Wednesday said it sent 90 million direct payments worth about $242 billion to Americans from President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, with more payments to be distributed in coming weeks.

Most of the payments were sent by direct deposit to recipients’ bank accounts starting on Friday, the Treasury said in a statement, adding that the first payment batches were now fully available to be spent.

The Treasury said it also mailed out 150 000 paper checks worth $442 million.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the large number of checks and deposits made showed the administration was working to accomplish Biden’s promise to deliver 100 million payments to Americans in 10 days.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also reassured the governors of Kentucky and South Carolina that her department was racing to get funds to families, states and local governments.

The Treasury said Yellen spoke earlier on Wednesday with Governors Andy Beshear of Kentucky and Henry McMaster of South Carolina, who co-chair the economic recovery task force of the National Governors Association.

“Secretary Yellen conveyed how the Treasury Department is working around-the-clock to get funds to families, states, and local governments, quickly and efficiently, as Americans continue to combat the pandemic and recover from the current health and economic crises,” it said. (Reuters)