One year after the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States, President Joe Biden on Thursday spoke of a plan to beat the virus.
The president pledged to make all adults eligible to receive a vaccine by May 1. Biden noted that it does not mean everyone 18 and older will be vaccinated by that day but that all adults would be eligible to sign up for one.
The country’s recovery from the pandemic is dependent on people getting vaccinated, he said. To speed the process, the federal government bought tens of millions of vaccines and plans to launch a website to streamline the ability to find a vaccine near you.
So far, families have expressed frustration with finding appointments for seniors 65 and older, and the state of Michigan recently expanded vaccine eligibility to people 50 and older with health issues.
Along with the vaccination push, the president said opening all K-8 schools in the next 50 days is a top priority.
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel released the following statement on Biden’s address:
Tonight (March 11), on a solemn occasion marking the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown, the American people heard Joe Biden take a victory lap for passing a $1.9 trillion boondoggle disguised as COVID ‘relief’. Biden and Democrats in Congress chose to pass a partisan bill where only 9 percent of the money is targeted to fighting the pandemic, all while continuing to ignore the suffering of American families that are struggling while out of work and out of school. It’s also an important reminder that one year ago today, President Trump announced an aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront the virus that ultimately resulted in the fastest creation of a vaccine in modern history through Operation Warp Speed. As our nation recovers, it is important to focus on the challenges that lie ahead: getting Americans back to work, allowing students to return to school, and finishing the work the Trump Administration started in distributing vaccines.
COVID relief bill could permanently alter social safety net
President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package is being hailed by Democrats and progressive policy advocates as a generational expansion of the social safety net, providing food and housing assistance, greater access to health care and direct aid to families in what amounts to a broad-based attack on the cycle of poverty.
With more than $6 billion for food security-related programs, more than $25 billion in emergency rental assistance, nearly $10 billion in emergency mortgage aid for homeowners, and extensions of already-expanded unemployment payments through early September, the package is full of provisions designed to help families and individuals survive and recover from pandemic-induced economic hardships.
“When you stand back and look at it, that’s when you really can appreciate the sheer scope of it,” said Ellen Vollinger, legal director for the Food Research & Action Center, a food-security advocacy group. “The scope is both impressive and much needed.”