The biggest financial aid package since the Great Depression, the bill passed by House of Representatives seeks to pull the nation out from the pandemic
President Joe Biden speaks at an event in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Campus. Pic/AP/PTI
On the 50th day US President Joe Biden has been in office, Congress gave him two victories — the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that was fought for and the confirmation of a key member of his cabinet, Attorney General Merrick Garland. Biden is also buoyed by signs of a recovery after more than a year of the deadly ravage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The biggest financial aid package since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the bill passed by the House of Representatives against total Republican opposition on Wednesday seeks to pull the nation from the depths of the Coronavirus pandemic by infusing money into the economy at large and into the pockets of individuals. Calling the bill a “consequential and transformative legislation”, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “This is a momentous day in the history of our country.” Twenty Republicans joined the Democrats in the Senate to confirm Garland as the nation’s top law enforcement official. Despite the title of attorney general, the position is more similar to that of the home minister as the official will control agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Agency and the enforcement of laws. The Senate also confirmed Michael Regan to a cabinet post as the administrator of the Environment Protection Agency.
China to work with WHO in tracing virus origin
China is willing to continue working with the World Health Organization (WHO) on tracing the origin of COVID-19, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said. Li said China had maintained communication with the WHO and provided the WHO mission support during their work in China concerning the origins of the virus, stressing that the Chinese side has acted in a fact-based manner and with an open, transparent and cooperative approach, the Xinhua news agency reported.
‘Will order 100 million doses of J&J vaccine’
US President Joe Biden has said that his administration will order another 100 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The planned purchase would bring the country’s total vaccine order to 800 million doses. “On Saturday, we hit a record of 2.9 million vaccinations in one day in America,” Biden said on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.
Denmark halts AstraZeneca use
The health authorities in Denmark said they are temporarily suspending the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine as a precautionary measure after some patients developed blood clots since receiving the jab, including one who died, digital news publisher The Local reported. But it cautiously added that “it has not been determined, at the time being, that there is a link between the vaccine and the blood clots”.
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