President-elect Joe Biden addressed the nation Thursday night to deliver remarks on his plan to fight COVID-19 and help the economy. Biden announced he would "finish the job" and send $1,400 checks to supplement $600 stimulus checks sent earlier in the month for a combined total of $2,000.
PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN: We need to make sure that workers who have COVID-19 symptoms are quarantined, and those who need to take care of their family members with COVID-19 symptoms should be able to stay home from work and still get paid. This will reduce the spread of the virus and make sure workers get the support they need to maintain their families. But what they need about--we need about $400 billion in funding from Congress to make all of what I just said happen.
It's a great deal, but I'm convinced we are ready to get this done. The very health of our nation is at stake. Our rescue plan also includes immediate relief to Americans hardest hit and most in need. We will finish the job of getting a total of $2000 in cash relief to people who need it the most; the $600 already appropriated is simply not enough. We just have to choose between paying rent and putting food on the table.
Even for those who have kept their jobs these checks are really important. You see if you are an American worker making $40,000 a year with less than $400 in savings maybe you've lost hours or maybe you are doing fewer shifts driving a truck or caring for the kids or the elderly you are out there putting your life on the line to work during this pandemic and worry every week that you'll get sick, lose your job, or worse. $2,000 is going to go a long way to ease that pain. We'll also provide more of mind for struggling families by extending unemployment beyond the end of March for millions of workers. That means that 18 million Americans currently relying on unemployment benefits while they look for work can count on these checks continuing to be there.
Plus, there will be a $400-per-week supplement so people can make ends meet. This gets money quickly into the pockets of millions of Americans who will spend it immediately on food and rent and other basic needs because the economists tell us that helps the whole economy grow. We'll also tackle the growing hunger crisis in America. As I speak, and the vice president-elect has spoken of this many times, one in seven households in America, more than one in five black and Latino households in America report they don't have enough food to eat.