Biden speech highlights: COVID relief bill 2021 is signed on the anniversary of the pandemic declaration, and the Biden administration looks ahead.
RALPHIE AVERSA: This $1.9 trillion bill-- how, if at all, does it relate to this directive from the president?
ANNAH ASCHBRENNER: So yeah, there's money in the bill to fund both distribution and production of this vaccine. We found out recently that Merck is going to be helping Johnson & Johnson produce their vaccine. Getting Johnson & Johnson on board with their single-dose vaccine was obviously a huge boost to this effort to get more adults vaccinated.
So there is money in the relief bill to fund some of those efforts. And I think that this is really the president saying, we're putting the tools in your hands, and we want you to start using them once we can really ramp up this vaccination effort.
RALPHIE AVERSA: OK, so with the bill, with the directive, what's to come next?
ANNAH ASCHBRENNER: So this was obviously one of the president's campaign promises. This is something he really campaigned on-- I am the president to handle this challenge, which, as you said, is really almost unprecedented.
So this is a big win. Passing this legislation, for the president, is a big win. We're expecting him in the coming weeks to get back out in the country with the First Lady, with Vice President Harris and her husband, and sort of do-- not a victory lap, but an explanation to the country, to tell them what's in this bill, how it benefits them.
And then he's going to be looking for another legislative win. We expect him to now look to, potentially, infrastructure, to immigration, and to start working on, really, what his next priority in Congress is going to be.