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Coronavirus relief package ‘changes paradigm’ for American workers, Biden says

President Biden speaks about the coronavirus relief package in the Rose Garden on Friday with Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). (Alex Brandon/AP)
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President Biden touted the passage of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package Friday with a speech at the Rose Garden, saying that it “changes the paradigm for the first time in a long time: This bill puts working people in this nation first.”

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Biden, Vice President Harris and top democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), gathered at the White House to celebrate the relief plan that the president signed into law on Thursday. They called it a determining step toward revitalizing the economy.

“I promised the American people … that help was on the way,” Biden said.But today, with the American Rescue Plan now signed into law, we’ve delivered on that promise. And I don’t mean I’ve delivered. We’ve delivered.”

Here are some significant developments:

  • The United States, in partnership with India, Japan and Australia, pledged Friday to jointly manufacture and distribute up to 1 billion doses of coronavirus vaccine before the end of next year, as the Biden administration comes under increased pressure to provide more vaccine help to poorer nations.
  • The United States topped 100 million coronavirus vaccine doses administered since the first shot in December, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Virginia, Maryland and D.C. will get a boost in coronavirus vaccine supply soon. The states and D.C. are setting up mass-vaccination sites and other distribution points for what is expected to be a rapidly increasing number of doses over the next two months, according to local officials.
  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced Friday morning that he will be easing coronavirus restrictions, removing the cap on attendance for worship services and allowing as many as 10,000 people at the Minnesota Twins opening game April 8, the Star Tribune reported.
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced Friday that he is ordering school districts in his state to provide an in-person instruction option by April 5.
  • A nationwide lockdown for the Easter weekend looms over Italy as the country tries to hinder new infections as new cases rise and more contagious variants spread, Reuters reported.