I applaud the bipartisan Congressional economic relief package that will deliver critical resources to fight COVID-19, including funding for vaccine distribution, and much needed temporary relief for workers, families, and small businesses. In November, the American people spoke clearly that now is a time for action and compromise. I am heartened to see members of Congress heed that message, reach across the aisle, and work together. This is a model for the challenging work ahead for our nation. This bill provides critical temporary support for millions of Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, support to help keep families in their homes, and food on their table; and direct payments to help Americans make it through a dark winter. It gives a lifeline to small businesses struggling to stay afloat, having previously found themselves at the back of the line for relief. And, it provides an important downpayment on the investment we need in vaccine procurement and distribution, helping deliver these incredible vaccines around the country and offer the American people protection and peace of mind that there will be light at the end of the tunnel.
But this action in the lame duck session is just the beginning. Our work is far from over.
On day one, my administration will be ready to undertake additional steps to get the virus under control and build our economy back better than it was before this crisis. In our first 100 days, we’ll be asking all Americans to mask up for 100 days; we’ll have a plan to administer 100 million vaccine shots in 100 days and to get most schools open in the first 100 days. These are bold, but doable steps to contain the virus and get back to our lives. But we will need to act quickly. We need to scale up vaccine production and distribution and acquire tens of millions more doses. We need to undertake an ambitious plan to educate the American people in the efficacy and safety of these vaccines so that we can all reap the benefits of their protection. We need to do more to protect the most vulnerable among us who even now, in the midst of this holiday season, are desperate for real cause for hope.
As we do, we need to move immediately to create jobs and build back better than before. We cannot do this alone. Immediately, starting in the new year, Congress will need to get to work on support for our COVID-19 plan, for support to struggling families, and investments in jobs and economic recovery. There will be no time to waste.
But I am optimistic that we can meet this moment, together. My message to everyone out there struggling right now, help is on the way.