Biden to Sign Two Executive Orders on Covid-19 Economic Relief

President Joe Biden will sign two executive orders on Covid-19 relief that aim to provide vital economic relief to Americans weathering the economic freefall caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The orders will expand food stamps and also ensure that anyone working for the federal government makes at least $15 an hour. These orders will provide a “critical lifeline” to Americans in need, said National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, though he stressed that these orders would not be a “substitute” for a trillion-dollar stimulus package many Americans are depending on. read more

Labor Department Ensures Americans Unemployment Benefits Won’t Lapse Despite Trump Signing Delay

The Department of Labor (DOL) says unemployment benefits won’t lapse despite President Donald Trump’s delay in signing a new Covid-19 relief package.

“As states are implementing these new provisions as quickly as possible, the Department does not anticipate that eligible claimants will miss a week of benefits due to the timing of the law’s enactment,” a department spokesman told The Hill. read more

Advisor Says Biden Will Invoke Defense Production Act to Ramp Up Vaccine Production

Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Dr. Celine Gounder, a member of Biden’s Covid-19 advisory board, said President-elect Joe Biden will invoke the Defense Production Act, which expedites and expands the supply of materials and services from U.S. industries to promote national defense, to ramp up production of Covid-19 vaccines as the nation––and the world––embarks on the largest vaccination campaign in history. read more

Public Briefings Will Resume, Says Biden’s Choice for CDC Director

Speaking to CNN, Rochelle Walensky, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to run the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that public briefings would resume under her leadership. That’s an about-face from current policy: The CDC has halted most of its briefings during the Covid-19 pandemic and most communication about the agency’s response to the crisis has been left to President Donald Trump and the White House coronavirus task force. read more