Joe Biden signs $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill

Biden signs bill

To help move the vaccine rollout along, according to Axios, Biden plans to "expand the type of people who can administer vaccines or support vaccinations" and to deploy "more than 4,000 active duty troops to support vaccination efforts, which will bring the total number of soldiers assisting vaccinations to over 6,000".

He's aiming to steer the nation toward a hungered-for sentiment - hope - as he marks one year since the onset of the pandemic that has killed more than 529,000 Americans.

"While it was different for everyone, we all lost something", he said of the sacrifices made during the pandemic.

Much of Biden's address is set to focus on the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package that Biden signed into law on Thursday.

"Tonight, I'm announcing that I will direct all states, tribes and territories to make all adults age 18 and older eligible to be vaccinated no later than May 1", Biden declared. "Just as we are emerging from a dark winter into a hopeful spring and summer is not the time to not stick with the rules", he said.

A woman receives the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, March 3, 2021. Republicans in both chambers opposed the legislation unanimously, characterizing it as bloated, crammed with liberal policies and heedless of signs the crises are easing.

"We want to move as fast as possible", tweeted chief of staff Ron Klain. We can not let people get evicted.

The announcement marks the Biden administration's most aggressive pledge yet on vaccine availability.

Biden encouraged Americans to listen to the advice issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in continuing to wear masks "to save lives".

Biden highlighted how since entering the White House he has been working with Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson to "manufacture and purchase hundreds of millions of doses" of vaccines - meaning 65 percent of elderly people have received the coronavirus vaccine in the last two months. The package, formally known as the American Rescue Plan, includes direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans, along with boosted unemployment insurance, aid to state and local governments and financial help for small businesses. Trump, it was later revealed, acknowledged that he had been deliberately "playing down" the threat of the virus.

The almost $2 trillion COVID stimulus legislation has been the administration's highest priority in the beginning days of Biden's presidency, seeking to "go big" to get the virus under control and get relief directly into the hands of most Americans in the form of $1400 checks.

"Generally, the country likes optimism, and at this particular moment they're desperate for optimism, but you can't risk a "Mission Accomplished" moment, '" he said, warning against any premature declaration that the threat has been vanquished.