Health

White House chief of staff Ron Klain on COVID-19 economic relief and vaccine rollout

White House chief of staff Ron Klain dismissed issues that President Joe Biden‘s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief invoice is useless within the water. Some Republicans have balked on the price ticket as Democrats take into account different methods to cross the laws with out Republican assist. 

“It’s hardly dead in the water,” Klain informed “CBS Evening News” anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell on Thursday. “I think it’s gaining a lot of momentum on Capitol Hill. I think you’ll see action in the House on it, the first parts of it starting next — the first phases of the legislative process starting next week.”

Congress handed a $900 billion invoice in late December that offered $600 stimulus checks to Americans. The checks fell brief of the $2,000 that Democrats and some Republicans supported.

Included in Mr. Biden’s plan is a proposed $15-an-hour federal minimal wage hike, which Republicans oppose. Klain mentioned it is included within the proposal as a result of important employees are risking their lives and need to earn a dwelling wage.

“It’s great that people bang pots and pans for essential workers. We shouldn’t just praise them, we should pay them. There are people risking their lives right now to deliver groceries, to stock shelves, to deliver packages to people’s houses,” he mentioned.

“We have an economic crisis in this country,” he continued. “Those people, people working hard, putting their lives on the line, should be able to work for 40 hours a week and not be in poverty.”

Klain additionally mentioned the Biden administration has invoked the Defense Production Act to hurry up the manufacturing of N95 masks and to provide particular syringes that can enhance the availability of the coronavirus vaccine by squeezing one other dose out of the vials. Having the high-filtration masks is “especially important as this new variant begins to spread in the country — during March and beyond that,” Klain mentioned. Mr. Biden has inspired mask-wearing for his first 100 days in office and has required them on federal property, planes, trains, buses and at airports.

The administration can also be working with vaccine corporations to ramp up manufacturing, however Klain known as it a “slow process.”

“FEMA is working with the Department of Defense to use 10,000 troops and open up 100 centers around the country to increase the availability of the vaccinations,” he mentioned. “But the production of the factories where the vaccine is made, that is a limiting factor that we’re just gonna have to continue to work through each week.”

Another problem the Biden administration faces is reopening colleges. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lately mentioned there’s little proof of transmission in colleges if precautions are adopted. Those precautions embrace sporting face masks, social distancing and elevated room air flow.

“It’s important not just to open schools, but to keep them open. I think one of the most frustrating things to parents has been the yo-yoing of schools open, schools closed,” Klain mentioned. 

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