Joe Biden unveils $1.9tn US economic relief package

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President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled a $1.9tn (£1.4tn) stimulus plan for the coronavirus-sapped US economy before he takes office next week. If passed by Congress, it would include $1tn for households, with direct payments of $1,400 to all Americans.

The relief proposal includes $415bn to fight the virus and $440bn for small businesses. Mr Biden, a Democrat, has promised to beat the pandemic that has killed more than 385,000 people in the US. He campaigned last year vowing to do a better job handling the virus than outgoing President Donald Trump, a Republican.

The direct payments of $1,400 would come on top of $600 payments provided in a relief bill enacted last month. Mr Biden’s proposal comes as a winter surge of the coronavirus breaks records.

Each day brings well over 200,000 new cases in the US and the daily death toll sometimes tops 4,000.

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