Joe Biden’s COVID and Economic Relief Plan

Sungwon Chung '22

For about a year now, the United States has struggled with the rest of the world to control the coronavirus pandemic. With a new administration in the White House, plans for COVID and economic relief have been renewed. The administration prioritizes the fight against COVID, citing that no matter how much they try to restore the economy, if the virus is not under control, all efforts will be in vain.


The new administration plans first to tackle the COVID crisis with everything it can. One of its first priorities is to amp up the number of testing sites and testing kits so that there will be no more shortages, which has been an issue for many months during the pandemic. They will also invest in tests that can be administered at home with quick results. [1]


In addition, the administration has activated the Defense Productions Act to mobilize and increase vaccine production. The Defense Production Act was a law passed during the Korean war, but the amount of power it gives to presidents isn’t clearly outlined. The Biden administration also set up federal vaccination sites, helped vaccines make their way to pharmacies, and prioritized the production of other personal protective equipment such as N 95 masks and gloves. [1] [3]


Also, the administration plans to create guidelines for how communities, schools, and businesses should reopen safely. His plan highlights the importance of social distancing and prioritizes safety over speed of reopenings. In addition, there are plans to increase funds for State and Local governments to ensure that their budgets are sufficient to meet the demands of the pandemic. [1] [2]


The distribution of vaccines to the population is another challenge that countries all over the world face. In the United States, vaccine rollout has been slow compared to other more successful nations such as Israel. In order to increase the rate of vaccinations, the Federal Emergency Management Agency requested a deployment of 1,110 soldiers to support vaccination sites, and help administer the vaccine. The administration also highlights the importance of helping communities that are underrepresented and more prone to the pandemic. [2] [3]


Furthermore, the United States has once again stepped into the global effort against the virus by rejoining the World Health Organization and donating 4 billion dollars to help developing countries increase vaccine capacity and vaccination rates. World leaders have praised the United State’s recommendation on the global stage and wish to restore friendly relationships. [3]


As for the economy, Congress passed a 1.9 trillion dollar stimulus package, which will provide $1400 dollars to eligible recipients. The stimulus package also provides 25 billion dollars in assistance for rents and provides temporary tax cuts so that people can focus more on the wellbeing of their families. It also contains assistance for small businesses and provides funding for states and schools to increase their teaching capacity during the pandemic. [5]


The administration stated that the numbers provided in the stimulus package were not limits and that they would do whatever it takes to sustain the economy and help people through the crisis. In the future, the administration plans to push for a reduction in student loans by $10,000 per person and hopes to increase Social Security checks by $200 per month. [5] [6]