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US battle against coronavirus in full swing: Biden gets vaccine, people $900 billion stimulus

US battle against coronavirus in full swing: Biden gets vaccine, people $900 billion stimulus

One day after the world was discussing the big US $900 billion Covid-19 relief package, President-elect Joe Biden put the US battle against coronavirus centre stage by getting himself inoculated in front of live television. The idea was to boost confidence in the efficacy of the vaccine among the sceptics.
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<p dir="ltr" lang="en">Joe Biden has received his COVID-19 vaccination. <a href="https://t.co/InmDTANlUz">pic.twitter.com/InmDTANlUz</a></p>
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) <a href="https://twitter.com/ErickFernandez/status/1341119769701994500?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 21, 2020</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Biden received his first dose on Monday in front of the cameras. At 78 years, he also falls among the category of people who are at high risk of falling prey to the infection.

Unlike President Donald Trump, Biden is mindful of the ravaging effects of coronavirus and is taking it seriously. Trump had been blase about precautions against the dangers of coronavirus and had often mocked against wearing masks.

After taking the jab, news agency <em>Reuters</em> reported Biden as saying: "I'm doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared when it's available to take the vaccine. There's nothing to worry about." His wife Jill Biden had already taken the vaccine shot.

The US Congress has passed a $900 billion Covid-19 relief package to help revive the ailing coronavirus-affected economy. The package is supposed to help struggling families and small businessmen who have been hit hard by the pandemic. The bipartisan support to the package came after differences between the Republican and Democrats were resolved after weeks of delay.

Mitch McConnell, Republican leader tweeted on Tuesday: "The Senate just passed another major bipartisan, Covid-19 relief package. The American people can rest assured that more help is on the way, immediately."

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi too commented that the approval of the package was a "… good bipartisan deal. We will do some good with this legislation."

Touted to be one of the biggest rescue packages in American history, the $900 billion plan seeks to kickstart small businesses, provide welfare support to individuals, cash payments to jobless workers besides providing for healthcare measures like increased testing and distribution of vaccines. The bill now goes to Trump for his signatures.

The stimulus provides direct payments to Americans – $600 per child, $1,200 for couples and unemployment benefits of $300 per week till mid-March. All of these are applicable to people who fall within a certain income range.

The US has been the worst hit by the pandemic. Johns Hopkins University reported that by Tuesday morning, a total of 18,029,528 Americans were infected with the virus and 319,354 were dead.

As the world is on the cusp of marking one year of the advent of the pandemic, first noticed last year in Wuhan, China, a new fast-spreading coronavirus strain has emerged from the UK. This new development over Covid-19 spread coincides with the mass vaccination campaigns that have started in the UK, the USA and Canada..