Coronavirus News Update – Jan. 14: Biden Unveils $1.9 Trillion Virus Plan, France Tightens Restrictions

By Anna Breuer on 15 January 2021
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Tourists visiting a temple in Kyoto prior to the coronavirus outbreak

The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc unabated.  The novel coronavirus has sickened more than 93 million people worldwide. At least two million people have died from it.  The United States has almost 24 million cases reported, with over 398,000 deaths.

Saying “the very health of our nation is at stake,” President-Elect Joseph Biden announced a $1.9 trillion spending package to combat the virus and the economic downturn that has been a direct outcome of the pandemic.  The plan includes $400 billion that will be used to accelerate vaccination programs in the country, as well as$1,400 direct payments to individuals, more generous unemployment benefits, federally mandated paid leave for workers, and subsidies for child care costs.

The president-elect named Dr. David Kessler, a former head of the Food and Drug Administration, to lead Operation Warpspeed, the federal program intended to accelerate development of coronavirus vaccines and treatments.

In France, which reported 23,000 new cases on Wednesday, President Emmanuel Macron announced more stringent restrictions in the east of the country, putting into effect a 6 p.m. curfew in 25.  Most of France is still subject to an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. Moving the curfew forward by two hours would stall the so-called “apéro effect” said the leader of President Emmanuel Macron’s Republic on the Move party, Stanislas Guerini, referring to the French tradition of meeting up for a pre-dinner drink.

In Japan, the prospects of a 2021 Olympic Games are dimming as the number of new coronavirus cases increases.  The International Olympic Committee may have to cancel the Games for the first time since the outbreak of the Second World War, as 80% of the Japanese population surveyed believes that the Games should either be further postponed or simply cancelled.

Siegfried Fischbacher, who with his business and life partner, the late Roy Horn, mesmerized crowds in Las Vegas with a mix of magic and exotic animals as Siegfried and Roy, died January 13 at the age of 81 from pancreatic cancer. Siegfried and Roy were among the most popular and most highly paid entertainers in Las Vegas. Horn died last May at the age of 75 from complications relating to the coronavirus.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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