US President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled details of his $7 trillion coronavirus recovery package, as the Democrat lays the groundwork for America to “Build Back Better” from the worst Covid death toll in the world.
Biden today announced his administration would invest $300bn in “the most critical competitive new industries and technology” to help the US economy rebound from its deepest recession since the Great Depression.
The President-elect said the emergency funding would help create 3m “good-paying jobs” in corporate America, after several states reported record levels of unemployment during the pandemic.
Biden also announced a $15 nationwide minimum wage for the country — more than double the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour for the bulk of US states.
“That’s how we build back the middle class better than ever,” Biden said. “That’s how me make sure workers are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”
“Once we shut down the virus and deliver economic relief to workers and businesses, then we can start to build back better than before,” said the President-elect, adding: “Let’s get to work”.
Biden’s Build Back Better economic recovery package includes plans to spend more than $7 trillion on initiatives such as infrastructure over the next decade to boost the US economy.
His speech in Wilmington, Delaware this evening comes after the Democrat spent the day consulting chief executives of top US companies and labour leaders.
The incoming President warned his administration will inherit an economy that has suffered millions of job losses during the pandemic.
“We’re going into a very dark winter. Things are going to get much tougher before they get easier,” he cautioned.
Biden called for bipartisan cooperation and urged Congress to pass pandemic relief legislation, which stalled for months in the run-up to the election.
The Democrat moved ahead with economic planning even as incumbent President Donald Trump refused to accept his election loss.
Asked what he made of Trump’s baseless claims this afternoon that he “won the election,” Biden said: “I find this more embarrassing for the country than debilitating.”
He slammed Trump for holding golf matches while the US suffers from the highest coronavirus death toll in the world, after 623 further fatalities yesterday took the country’s total to more than 246,000.
In his first economic address since being elected to the White House on 7 November, Biden vowed to roll out a nationwide mask-wearing policy to stem the rapid rise in infections.
“It’s about patriotism. It’s about being patriotic,” he said. “It’s about saving lives, for real. This is not hyperbole.”