US House clears $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package
The US House of Representatives passed an enormous $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Saturday, hailed by Democrats as a critical step in funnelling new funding towards vaccinations, overburdened local governments, and millions of families devastated by the pandemic.
Four days after the Covid-19 death toll surpassed 500,000 in the United States, the sprawling measure, backed by President Joe Biden and seen as a moral imperative by many, now heads to the Senate for consideration next week.
“After 12 months of death and despair, the American recovery begins tonight,” congressman Brendan Boyle told the House chamber before lawmakers approved the package on a 219-212 vote.
Nod soon for J&J vaccine
The US Food and Drug Administration is set to grant emergency use nod to Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine after approval by its independent experts.
The FDA told the company it will “rapidly work towards finalisation and issuance of an emergency use authorisation”, which is expected over the weekend. Pfizer and Moderna’s are the other two jabs in use in the US since December. Both are two-dose vaccines.
With inputs from agencies