The challenges greeting President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. rival those of the Great Recession, when he became vice president.Credit...Amr Alfiky/The New York Times

$900 billion pandemic relief plan merely a “down payment” for incoming Biden administration

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The incoming Biden administration will inherit a nationwide health crisis unprecedented in peace time, with a $900 billion pandemic relief plan that won’t go far enough to address problems nationwide.

In fact, it’s been billed as a “down payment” on a future stimulus that could end up in the trillions as the U.S. struggles to overcome Covid-19 and economic damage mounts.

Over the past year, the U.S. economy has faced a severe contraction, coupled with a spiralling health crisis due to hospital saturation. To make matters worse, $600 stimulus checks will come too late for many after months of delay in Congress to pass the first of a long list of much needed measures to uplift the economy.

President-Elect Joe Biden admitted that the initial pandemic relief plan was not going to cut it, and was merely enough to get through the worst of the winter.

And it’s not just America’s health that’s in danger, it’s jobs and the economy at large. With more than 19 million Americans receiving unemployment benefit, massive action will have to be taken to prevent foreclosures, bankruptcies and a wider economic downturn last seen in 2008-2009.

While the U.S. has made progress in distributing vaccines, it still has a long way to go to get people protected, especially senior citizens and health workers.

The Biden administration’s top priority will be to get the pandemic under control before life can return to a new kind of normal.

However, the good news is that during the pandemic, Americans saved the most in 40 years, meaning that when restrictions are lifted, there will be a natural ‘domestic stimulus’ with savings being put back into circulation, supporting businesses in a variety of industries. The next 2 months will be crucial.