Biden signs signal stimulus and puts forward “reasons for hope”

US President Joe Biden on Thursday signed his $ 1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan before delivering a long-awaited speech on the epidemic and hopes arising from the current vaccination campaign.

On the 50th day of his mandate, he will make his first solemn address at 8:00 pm (01:00 GMT Friday) “Prime Time”, from the iconic “East Room” of the White House.

“I am going to talk about all the events of the past year, but – and this is the most important – I will also talk about what will come after that,” he explained on Wednesday.

“There are real reasons to expect, I promise you,” he said. “We see light at the end of the tunnel. “

Despite opposition from Republicans, who condemn extravagant and poorly targeted spending, Democrats with a majority in the House of Representatives on Wednesday adopted the $ 1.9 trillion plan, a dizzying amount equal to Italy’s GDP.

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Praising “a historic victory for the Americans”, Joe Biden signed the text from the Oval Office on Thursday and planned to increase the number of trips to protect it.

He is due to travel to Pennsylvania on Tuesday, then to Atlanta, Georgia on Friday.

– About 530,000 dead –

His speech to the nation comes a year after the World Health Organization (WHO) decided to qualify Kovid-19 as an epidemic.

The United States has since claimed the lives of about 530,000 people, and the world’s largest economy contracted 3.5% last year, its worst year since World War II.

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“Exactly one year ago, I said that we are going through a very difficult time. But I could never imagine that there were more than one and a half million deaths (epidemic) in this country, “ABC immunologist Anthony Fauci, an advisor to Donald Trump, who is an adviser to Joe Biden.

Thanks to a green light from Congress, millions of Americans will receive aid totaling nearly $ 400 billion.

The scheme provides exceptional unemployment benefits till September, which was to end on 14 March.

The legislation also gives schools $ 126 billion, from kindergarten to high school, to support their reopening despite the epidemic, as well as 350 billion in favor of states and local communities.

The White House has announced in support of a vaccination campaign that it intends to purchase 100 million additional doses from Johnson & Johnson, which will double the number of doses ordered by the United States at this time.

The United States has already placed orders to receive sufficient doses to vaccinate all American adults by the end of May, with two other vaccines authorized in the country, the alliance Pfizer / BioNTech, and Moderna, the US government. Has ordered 300 million doses.

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But the White House tenant insisted on the need to prepare for potential failures.

“We need maximum flexibility. (…) A lot of things can happen, we have to be ready, ”he insisted.

“If we have a surplus, we will share it with the rest of the world,” he said.

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In a video titled “It depends on you”, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama called for all Americans to be vaccinated on Thursday morning.

Supporting personal anecdotes (Bush’s dreams of finding a “full stadium” to encourage the Texas Rangers), the four men encourage their compatriots to overcome any reluctance.

A major absence in the initiative that keeps all former presidents still alive: Donald Trump.

From his club in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, he tried to make himself heard in a very different register.

“I hope all Americans will remember, when they get the vaccine against Kovid-19, that if I had not been president, you would not have received this spectacular + injection + for five years sooner”, he said. A brief statement written in a.

“I hope everyone remembers this!», Who did not turn out to stand again in 2024 despite the defeat at the end of his first mandate.

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