BY CHRIS GOMES
The coronavirus has exacerbated many of America’s ongoing issues. Access to affordable healthcare has been exposed as inefficient within the nation. Many Americans have lost their jobs during the pandemic and can no longer pay for several necessities.
In light of this, President-elect Joseph R. Biden layed out a $1.9 trillion nationwide emergency relief plan in January. This will serve as a first impression of his campaign promise to unite a divided Congress, and an early test of his ability to carry out effective policy.
The package is designed to address the many problems occurring during the pandemic, most notably the joblessness and decline of the economy, as well as the coronavirus itself. Biden will be taking office January 20, and will have to face these issues in the early part of his presidency. The plan includes a series of provisions delivering direct aid to American families and a major focus on vaccine production and delivery.
The measure is fairly moderate in nature to appeal to both Republican and the Democrat members of Congress, with an overall price tag of below $2 trillion dollars. More expansive Democratic priorities are to follow, but Biden campaigned as a bipartisan dealmaker and desires to give Republicans the opportunity to support his first legislative effort as President.
The measure is fairly moderate in nature to appeal to both Republican and the Democrat members of Congress, with an overall price tag of below $2 trillion dollars.
One of the plan’s most ambitious goals is to release nearly every available dose of Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines to states and elsewhere in the nation. However, skeptics and larger concerns of possible shortages following said release continue to persist. A member of the President-elect’s COVID-19 advisory board said that there shouldn’t be any supply issues down the road.
Dr. Celine Gounder, who sits on the board and is an infectious disease specialist at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, had a few words about the paranoia of vaccine shortage due to the release.
“That’s not something we’re too worried about,” Gounder said to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “If you look at the timeline for production, they are actually going to be releasing more and more doses over time, so that really does open things up significantly.”
Biden’s plan comes after he was critical of President Donald Trump administration’s vaccine rollout strategy.
“…it’s going to take years, not months to vaccinate the American people.”President-elect Joseph R. Biden
“…it’s going to take years, not months to vaccinate the American people,” Biden said.
The pace of the vaccinations in the U.S. is much slower than what was originally intended by government officials. Currently, more than 29.3 million doses of the vaccine have been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The federal government’s original goal was to administer the vaccine to 20 million Americans by the end of 2020 and 50 million Americans by the end of January 2021.
Conflicts over distribution of the vaccine still persist between the outgoing and incoming presidential administrations, but the underlying goal remains the same. Biden needs to fulfill his promise of administering the vaccine to every American possible, in order to prevent more suffering from the virus and save lives.
Illustration by Sofie Kahlig