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Republicans begin new push against Biden's Covid-19 relief plan

February 23, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 21.5%. 2 min read.

UNITED STATES - February 23: Sen. John Thune, R-S. Dak., speaks during a news conference in the U.S. Capitol after the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in Washington on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Republican leaders in both chambers are maneuvering to keep all of their members in line against the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan, a move that would deny President Biden a bipartisan victory and one that could scuttle the bill in the Senate if any Democrat breaks ranks.

President Biden's coronavirus advisers told governors today that they believe an estimated two million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available next week pending emergency use authorization, according to a source familiar with the conversation.

A White House official confirmed the conversation and said, "If an EUA is issued, we anticipate jurisdictions will get an allocation of around 2 million doses of J&J supply next week. "

President Biden indicated the White House will move to send masks directly to the American people as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, something that was originally proposed by health officials during the Trump administration but blocked by the former President.

Earlier this month, White House chief of staff Ron Klain said that the Biden administration is hoping to resurrect a proposal from the Trump administration send masks directly to Americans.

The US Postal Service had planned to distribute 650 million face coverings for the Trump administration last April, according to internal documents reviewed by CNN in September.

More than 65 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States, according to data published Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 44. 5 million people have now received at least one dose of vaccine and about 19. 9 million people have been fully vaccinated with both shots, CDC data shows.

He said the government plans to give nearly half of people over 18 their first vaccine dose by the end of April, and 82% of adults their first dose by the end of June.

It’s possible a single dose of coronavirus vaccine might be enough for people who have already been infected, but it will take more research to show that, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, wrote in a blog post Tuesday

Asked by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins if Biden would sign a bill where the minimum wage is increased to $11 an hour, something Sen. Joe Manchin is looking at doing via an amendment to the bill, Psaki punted, saying Biden put forward the $15 an hour number because that is what he supports.

Psaki said if the coronavirus relief bill passes the House, which is expected this weekend, “there’ll be an opportunity Sen. Manchin and others to put forward ideas and proposals and we’ll see where that process lands but he proposed the $15 increase for a reason and he stands by it. ”

Asked if Biden would consider the lesser minimum wage increase as a possible point of compromise, Psaki said the White House will “see where it goes” after the bill works its way through the Senate reconciliation process.

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