IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Biden rolls out $1.9 trillion Covid rescue plan and how Facebook and Twitter decided to shut down Trump

An ex-firefighter accused of throwing extinguisher at police during the Capitol riot has been arrested.
Image: President-elect Joe Biden speaks as he lays out his plan for combating the coronavirus and jump-starting the nation's economy at the Queen theater
"There is no time to wait," President-elect Joe Biden said announcing his plan for combating the coronavirus and jump-starting the nation's economy on Thursday. "We have to act and act now."Alex Wong / Getty Images

Good morning, NBC News readers.

In a bold move the day after President Donald Trump was impeached, President-elect Joe Biden laid out his plan to deal with America's other major crisis: the coronavirus pandemic.

Here's what we're watching this Friday morning.


Biden lays out massive Covid relief plan with $1,400 stimulus checks

President-elect Joe Biden revealed his $1.9 trillion relief package in a prime-time address Thursday — focusing on a new round of stimulus checks to help struggling Americans and an ambitious vaccine distribution plan to control the pandemic.

Biden will ask the new Democratic-controlled Congress to approve the "American Rescue Plan" which includes a third round of stimulus checks at $1,400 in direct payments per person.

A chunk of the funds —$416 billion— would help launch a national vaccination program with a goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans and reopening schools in the first 100 days of his administration.

The proposal comes after Trump administration officials finally began sharing critical Covid vaccine data with Biden's transition team.

The Trump administration has been heavily criticized for its distribution strategy for vaccines. As of Thursday morning, out of more than 30 million vaccine doses distributed nationwide, just over 11 million doses have been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Biden called Trump's vaccine rollout "a dismal failure thus far" and admitted that it will be a huge logistical challenge to vaccinate millions more. But he vowed, "we will move heaven and earth to get more people vaccinated."

Meantime, antibody treatments could help ease the record number of Covid hospitalizations. Public health officials are wondering why they are sitting on shelves going unused.

"This is the first time during the pandemic that I can recall when our resources far exceed demand," Dr. William Fales, medical director for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said Thursday.

Follow our live blog for all the latest Covid-19 developments.


President banned, precedent set: How Facebook and Twitter decided to take down Trump's accounts

The Facebook and Twitter suspensions of President Donald Trump's accounts last week were a landmark moment for America's social media giants and the most visible demonstration yet of their power.

With a few unilateral decisions, a small group of tech executives deprived the president of the United States of his most influential broadcasting tools, curtailing his ability to command attention and drive the news cycle from his mobile phone at a moment's notice.

NBC News' senior media reporter Dylan Byers takes an in-depth look at what pushed the tech giants to finally flex their muscles and shut Trump's accounts down.

More on the aftermath of the Capitol riot:

  • An ex-firefighter accused of throwing at extinguisher at police during the riot has been arrested.
  • "Are we safe from them?" Some Democrats in Congress wonder out loud if their colleagues might kill them.
  • As law enforcement braces for more violence by radical conservatives and extremists ahead of Biden's inauguration, there is growing concern that state capitols will be targeted.
We apologize, this video has expired.

Want to receive the Morning Rundown in your inbox? Sign up here.


Plus

A bus in New York City that careened off a road in the Bronx dangles of an overpass on Friday.Craig Ruttle / AP

THINK about it

Even if aimed at white supremacists, new domestic terror laws in the wake of the Capitol riot will inevitably be used in the same way existing ones are: against Black and brown people, the ACLU's Hina Shamsi and Manar Waheed write in an opinion piece.


Live BETTER

How a morning walk has helped one couple stay connected during the pandemic.


Shopping

These foldable treadmills boast a variety of features, ranging from built-in heart monitors and HD screens to wheels for easy storage.


One fun thing

After years in development, Jeff Bezos’ private space company Blue Origin aims to carry its first passengers on a ride to the edge of space in a few months.

Blue Origin on Thursday completed the fourteenth test flight of its New Shepard rocket booster and capsule.

The NS-14 also marked one of the last remaining steps before Blue Origin flies its first crew to space, likely by early April, CNBC reported.


Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown. It's been another rollercoaster ride of a week. I hope you have a restful weekend.

If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — send me an email at: petra@nbcuni.com

If you're a fan, please forward it to your family and friends. They can sign-up here.

Thanks, Petra