President Joe Biden sees the death toll from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) reaching as high as 600,000.
“The virus is surging. We’re 400,000 dead, expected to reach well over 600,000,” he told a news conference on Saturday.
On Friday, Biden took a few beginning steps, signing executive orders at the White House to both deal with the pandemic and assist millions of US citizens it has affected.
“The bottom line is this: We are in a national emergency. We need to act like we’re in a national emergency,” he said. “So we got to move with everything we got. We’ve got to do it together. I don’t believe Democrats or Republicans are going hungry and losing jobs, I believe, Americans are going hungry and losing jobs.”
The limits of what Biden can achieve on his own without Congress was evident in the pair of executive orders he signed Friday. The orders would increase food aid, protect job seekers on unemployment, make it easier to obtain government aid and clear a path for federal workers and contractors to get a $15 hourly minimum wage.Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council, called the orders a “critical lifeline,” rather than a substitute for the large aid package, that he said must be passed quickly. SOVEREIGNPH