Joe Biden, The Queen theater, Wilmington, January 14, 2021 (AP Photo / Matt Slocum)
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January 15, 2021 Joe Biden unveils a $ 1900 billion plan to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on the US economy. "We must act and act now, we cannot wait," says the president-elect. "At stake - he adds - is the health of our country".
The plan is Biden's first legislative initiative and will be his first test in the Senate, where the timing of the bill is uncertain. The debate could in fact take place simultaneously with that on Donald Trump's impeachment, effectively slowing down its approval. But Biden does not want to hear about delays: he calls for the unity that is needed "to do what the country needs".
Urging swift action, the president-elect rejects the White House vaccine plan calling it a "failure", as reported by Ansa. On vaccines - he explains - we must accelerate because the faster we proceed "the sooner we leave the pandemic behind". Hence the promise of 100 million doses of vaccines in his first 100 days of presidency.
Of the 1,900 billion approximately 160 will be allocated to vaccinations and tests, 1,000 will go to the Americans and 440 to companies. Aid is also coming to the states and local governments, to which Biden is committed to granting 350 billion. The president-elect's initiative also includes a measure dear to the Democratic left, namely raising the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour.
The proposed measure, intended to 'rescue' the American economy, is only the first pillar on a two-legged strategy. After the bailout, there will be a recovery plan, which looks more long-term and includes investments in infrastructure and in the fight against climate change. Admitting these are costly measures, Biden says: the "benefits outweigh the costs. We will use taxpayer funds to rebuild America" and reduce the inequalities that the pandemic has heightened.
Biden's announcement and invitation to unity comes as the FBI raises the alarm ahead of Biden's inauguration ceremony. Federal agents have in fact found on the net an agitation around the event that prompted them to raise their guard.
At the White House, meanwhile, Trump unloads his anger on the advisers, who forbid any comparison with Richard Nixon, the former president who resigned following the Watergate scandal. Trump, CNN highlights, has no intention of resigning because he is convinced that Vice President Mike Pence would not grant him the pardon.
Trump's fury is contrasted by a calm but resolute Biden who doesn't mention Trump or impeachment, but sends everyone back to next Wednesday when "we start a new chapter. Kamala Harris and I will do our best".