The package will allocate more than $400 billion toward addressing the Covid-19 pandemic, including $160 billion in funding to execute a national vaccination program, expand testing and mobilize a public health jobs program, among other measures. Biden unveiled plans for $1,400 stimulus checks for Americans as well as extending and expanding unemployment benefits, including a $400 weekly unemployment insurance supplement, through September.
Biden did not detail how he plans to move his massive proposal through a Congress where Democrats will have narrow House and Senate majorities. But he has to make a running start.
Biden blasted the current administration’s vaccine rollout as a “dismal failure.” And he added: “There will be stumbles, but I will always be honest with you about both the progress we’re making and what setbacks we meet.”
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED
Q: What else is in the American Rescue Plan?
A: Rental assistance and an eviction moratorium. Additional support for small businesses, states and local governments. Restoration of emergency paid leave.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
Covid-19 cases surge in Brazil’s Amazonas state as its new variant sees international flight ban
How will school closures affect children in the long run? Wars, disease and natural disasters offer clues
The most striking data came from a paper assessing the long-term education cost of World War II. The authors concluded that “individuals experienced a sizable earnings loss some 40 years after the war, which can be attributed to the educational loss caused by the conflict.”
A Best Western in London is taking in Covid patients
England’s health service is currently staggering under an unprecedented crisis with more coronavirus patients in hospital than at any point in the pandemic. A new, more infectious variant, which officials say is out of control, has caused record-breaking infection rates, and could soon overwhelm intensive care units.
ON OUR RADAR
- The pandemic is not only having an immediate impact in terms of the deaths of thousands of Americans, it’s also taking more than a year off the average US life expectancy, a new study has found.
- The number of new skyscrapers built globally dropped more than 20% in 2020, attributed to the slowdown caused by Covid-19, as projects around the world ground to a halt amid restrictions on construction.
- There is a gap in vaccine confidence in Hispanic age groups. One study found that most Hispanic adults in the US want to be immunized eventually, but Hispanic adults under 50 are twice as likely to say they will “definitely not get the vaccine.”
- Grammy-nominated artist Post Malone is donating 10,000 pairs of his sold-out Duet Max Clog II Crocs to frontline workers at 70 hospitals across the country.
- Pope Francis and former Pope Benedict received the first doses of Covid-19 vaccine as the Vatican City began its vaccine program in a medical center set-up inside its main Auditorium Hall, where the pontiff often holds his weekly audiences.
Even before the pandemic, fear of needles had a serious impact.
“It’s the boogeyman, it’s the epidemiologists’ horror story. It’s the term they use for what’s coming next.. — CNN Senior International Correspondent Sam Kiley