Newly arrived in office, US President Joe Biden estimated Friday that the toll of the pandemic in the United States was still likely to increase, to exceed the bar of 600,000 dead.
More than 410,000 people have already died after contracting the novel coronavirus, and the figure is expected to rise to well over 600,000 , he said.
To date, the White House had never mentioned such a heavy toll.
Much [of the country] is suffering. The virus continues to gain ground , he continued.
Describing these families who are increasingly hungry and the increasing job losses , direct consequences of the health crisis, the US president reiterated the importance of acting now.
And to join the talk, Joe Biden signed two new presidential decrees on Friday, in addition to the ten he had already adopted the day before . If we act now, our economy will be stronger, in the short and long term , he argued.
One of these new decrees aims to extend and relax the assistance program for people and families with low or no income (SNAP), which is managed by the Department of Agriculture, to allow those – here to obtain basic foodstuffs in certain approved establishments.
One in seven households in the United States, and more than one in five in black and Latino households, report they have no food to eat , the president lamented, citing some 30 million adults and 12 million children.
And they have nothing to do with it, he added. It’s scandalous.
By the same executive order, President Biden also asks the US Treasury Department to send millions of low-income Americans an assistance check.
The new White House tenant pointed out that 16 million Americans live on unemployment benefits, that 14 million of them are behind on their rent payments, and therefore face foreclosure.
The second decree aims to set the minimum wage for federal employees at $ 15 an hour, against $ 7.25 currently, and should simplify the framework in which collective agreement negotiations take place between employees and employers. By adopting this decree, Mr. Biden reinforces the principle of union negotiation, which had been undermined by the Trump administration.
If we act now, we will be better able to fulfill our moral obligations to one another as Americans.
Joe Biden, President of the United States
Prior to signing these two decrees, President Biden argued that his US $ 1.9 trillion emergency stimulus package was getting bipartisan and majority support from mayors and governors. Americans.
The Biden administration , however, declined to release a timeline for implementing the promised aid measures, arguing it was still too early to set a timeline. Meetings are nonetheless scheduled with lawmakers to discuss the president’s plan, the White House said.
Biden wants to tackle violent extremism
After the attack on the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, including members of the far right, on January 6, Joe Biden pledged to fight against domestic violent extremism , it is that is, which is developing and rife within the United States itself.
The president asked the director of national intelligence, a body created in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, and the Department of Homeland Security to document the threat posed by those who adhere to these ideologies.
The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing threat to national security ,White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday.
According to the FBI, the deadliest violence committed last year on American soil has been attributed to anti-government activists, including anarchists and armed militias.