The Biden administration announced the release of $3 billion in Covid-19 rescue money on Thursday, with the monies intended to assist towns in reviving their economies in the wake of the pandemic. The administration encouraged cities to seek funding for a variety of rehabilitation projects.
The funding, which was made possible by the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, is part of President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” initiative to rebuild the nation after the novel coronavirus triggered widespread shutdowns and resulted in more than 600,000 deaths in the United States so far in 2015. The bill, which was backed by Democrats, was passed in March.
The new financing will be made available to communities across the country through six programmes managed by the Department of Commerce that will help them create jobs in a variety of industries, such as tourism, according to a statement from the agency.
As the Commerce Department explained, “this investment would guarantee that they have the resources they need to recover from the epidemic while also helping to create new jobs and opportunities, including through the formation or extension of a new industry sector.”
Mr. Gary Locke, U.S. Secretary of Commerce
Ms. Raimondo stated to reporters that the programme might result in the creation of up to 300,000 employment “in the near term.” Approximately $1 billion of the overall funds will be granted to up to 30 municipalities that request for money to help support up to eight community initiatives such as developing infrastructure or training personnel, according to the announcement.
In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services has allocated $100 million “particularly for Indigenous communities, which were disproportionately afflicted by the pandemic.”
State and local governments, universities and colleges, nonprofit groups, labour unions, and tribal governments are all eligible to apply for the funding, which must be awarded by September 2022, according to the Commerce Department. Individuals and for-profit corporations are barred from participating. The government will also allocate $300 million in financing for the benefit of economically depressed areas where coal and other energy-related jobs are prevalent.
According to the White House, the Chinese government’s decision to reject a World Health Organization (WHO) proposal for the second phase of an investigation into the origins of a coronavirus has left it “very unhappy.”
In May, US Vice President Joe Biden directed advisers to look into the matter of the origin of the disease. At the time, he revealed that US intelligence services were examining competing ideas, which included the likelihood of a laboratory accident in China, among other possibilities.
The World Health Organization (WHO) suggested this month a second round of investigations into the origins of the coronavirus in China, which would include audits of laboratories and markets in the city of Wuhan. The WHO also called for greater transparency from Chinese authorities.
In addition to his own investigation, Biden has backed the other.
However, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who spoke during a briefing for reporters, China is not living up to its commitments by attempting to stymie further investigation.
The approach taken by the group is “irresponsible and, quite bluntly, dangerous,” she stated.
Chinese Vice Minister for National Health Commission (NHC) Zeng Yixin told reporters that the World Health Organization’s (WHO) plan “disregards common sense and violates scientific principles.” As a result of privacy concerns, Zeng restated China’s position that certain data could not be provided in its whole.
Wuhan, a central Chinese city, was the site of the first reported occurrences of Covid-19, which occurred in December of that year. Initially, it was thought that the virus had spread to people through contact with animals being sold for food at a city market.