President Joe Biden continues to focus on eradicating coronavirus, even as everyone wants a piece of him. According to Newsweek, progressives in the Democratic party are pushing for monthly stimulus checks for Americans while Republicans want income thresholds for the one-time checks. People who have been unemployed for months could certainly use a monthly stipend to help them get back on their feet, but the threshold is a bit trickier.
The main concern of moderate Democrats is getting funding to low-income people. According to NPR, the White House and Senate Democrats came to an agreement late yesterday that will move this bill toward a final vote. While all this turmoil could pose conflicts for President Biden, his focus remains on getting vaccines into people’s arms, as that is what will ultimately reopen businesses and put people back to work.
According to NPR, President Biden’s team convinced two pharma rivals to understand the urgency of coronavirus and got them to work together. Thanks to a proposed 15-minute phone call that lasted over an hour, Johnson & Johnson (“J&J”) is partnering with Merck to produce vaccines at a faster rate. As NPR reported, J&J could not meet the production for which it contracted, and Merck will step in to assist. Interestingly, the two companies had briefly discussed working together, but those discussions did not get far. Once Biden’s team stepped in and convinced both CEOs of the urgency, they agreed to work together.
This is an incredible effort by President Biden’s team to get more vaccines to more people as quickly as possible. Many regions are in desperate need, and this push will help to get vaccines to where they are most needed in the shortest possible time. President Biden has also convinced J&J to “run its facilities 24/7” to speed up the process, while Merck is adjusting its facilities to accommodate filling vials with J&J’s vaccine and will eventually produce the drug used in the J&J vaccine. Merck had hoped to have its own vaccine, but that did not work out, so this is a good way for that company to be involved in this life-saving effort.
President Biden has shown an early ability to get people to work together for the common good. Meeting with the Senate late yesterday, they were able to hammer out an agreement that was acceptable to both the Democrats and President Biden. Press secretary Jen Psaki said that President Biden believed suggestions and negotiations necessary to getting to a final bill. Biden’s negotiation efforts have so far had a positive impact and is a far cry from the last administration with its “my way or the highway” approach to everything. Life does not work that way, and it is pleasant and refreshing to have a president who wants everyone to work together toward a singular goal. His efforts at getting the vaccine out are reverberating everywhere, as Georgia’s governor announced the opening of new sites in anticipation of receipt of the vaccine. We might just be able to get some good things accomplished under the guidance of President Joe Biden.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years