U.S President-elect, Biden unveils $1.9tn economic relief package

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U.S President-elect, Joe Biden has unveiled a $1.9tn (£1.4tn) stimulus plan for the US economy before he takes office next week.

If passed by Congress, it would include $1tn for households, with direct payments of $1,400 to all Americans.

The relief proposal includes $415bn to fight the virus and $440bn for small businesses.

Mr Biden has promised to beat the pandemic that has killed more than 385,000 people in the US.

He campaigned last year vowing to do a better job handling the virus than outgoing President Donald Trump.

The direct payments of $1,400 would come on top of $600 payments provided in a relief bill enacted last month.

 

His plan also calls for $50bn to expand testing and $130bn to help most schools reopen by the spring.

The plan would fund the hiring of 100,000 public health workers for contact tracing.

Mr Biden’s proposal comes as a winter surge of the coronavirus breaks records.

Each day brings well over 200,000 new cases in the US and the daily death toll sometimes tops 4,000.

Mr Biden wants to pump $20bn into vaccinating Americans, including setting up mass vaccination hubs and dispatching mobile units to remote areas.

Two effective vaccines were delivered under the Trump administration, but health officials say the rollout needs to speed up.

Mr Biden’s administration aims to deliver 100 million shots in 100 days.

So far, about 11 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).