Updated: Jan 27
Joe Biden was recently inaugurated and is now the President of the United States. Despite not having been in office for very long, he is moving quickly to sign executive orders and actions to manage the coronavirus situation in the United States. Biden’s top priorities involve increasing the distribution of the vaccine, testing, and speeding up an economic rebound. The economy has slowed significantly since the start of the pandemic, and many individuals, particularly those in the service industry, are out of work. Thus, economic policies have great significance on his coronavirus policy.
Actions have been taken to decrease cases of COVID-19, increase distribution of the vaccine, and increase testing. 20 billion dollars have been called for a national vaccination program. This program intends to give more people access to vaccines by launching community vaccination centers and mobile units. $50 billion are also to be put towards testing, providing funds for rapid testing, expanding lab capacity, and helping schools implement testing to reopen. A “100 Days Masking Challenge” has been launched to decrease cases as much as possible as well, asking Americans to wear masks for 100 days.
Actions have also been taken to help those struggling because of the pandemic. Collective bargaining power and worker protections for federal workers and the foundations of a $15 minimum wage have been passed. A 1.9 trillion dollar America Rescue Plan has also been unveiled. Stimulus payments are to be increased to $1,400 for eligible recipients and include those who did not receive the first round of $1,200 stimulus checks. Unemployment aid is to be increased to $400 from $300. Rental eviction and moratorium aid, food stamps benefits, more money for child care and child tax returns, temporary increase of tax returns, increased access to health insurance, restoration of emergency paid leave, assistance for small businesses, and aid for states and schools are also included in this plan.
The coronavirus pandemic is not merely an issue affecting one small group of people or limited in its reach: it encompasses the whole world and the peoples included in its population. As a result, every person needs to do their part to help the US return to pre-pandemic status. This includes teens. Young individuals cannot make any decisions that have legal implications, but do have the power to influence and make social change. Increase awareness of vaccines, testing, and the importance of mask-wearing to others. Social media platforms are a great way to do this: your information will quickly reach many people, and it requires no face-to-face interaction. Continue to social distance, wear masks, and take precautions whenever necessary, especially if you are interacting with others outside your immediate household. Remember, the world is all in this together: this issue will only be solved with our combined efforts.