Vaccine offers light at the end of a dark winter. Foto: Dispacht.com
By Isaac Cohen*
While in Washington the political transition is facing some difficulties, ominously, the number of coronavirus infections in the United States is approaching 150,000 a day, with deaths increasing fifty percent since October to an average of 1,000 per day and hospitalizations on the rise again.
The good news is that two companies revealed, last week, positive results about the effectiveness of two vaccines, which were welcomed in stock markets throughout the world. Meanwhile, in Washington, the approval of another economic relief package, before the inauguration of the new government, is vanishing, because of the wide distance between the proposals from the House and the Senate.
At stake are two programs approved by Congress extending unemployment benefits by thirteen weeks, in one case and the eligibility of beneficiaries to include self-employed workers, on the other. Both benefits expire ny the end of the year, together with other relief measures, such as deferment of student loan payments, a moratorium on evictions and tax exemptions for businesses.
On Monday, after his proclamation, President elect Joseph Biden recognized control of the virus is essential to strengthen the economic recovery. As he announced the creation of a task force to deal with the virus, President elect said “We’re still facing a very dark winter.” (The Wall Street Journal, 11/10/20).
*International analyst and consultant, former Director ECLAC Washington. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio, TELEMUNDO, UNIVISION and other media.