President Joe Biden’s address to the nation is giving hope for a future that is not too far away. He has July 4 marker for small gatherings. However, White House officials contend this effort to relax COVID-19 rules depends on the American people doing their part for an “independent Independence Day” by wearing masks, socially distancing and getting vaccinated — all in attempts to cut into the numbers of COVID-19 infections.
Administration officials contend no later than May 1 vaccination eligibility should be open up to all American adults.
The White House is also focused on launching a website expected to make it easier to find vaccination locations and focused on schooling with the Safe School Reopening Summit taking place this month. Additionally, the $1,400 stimulus checks are part of the relief and recovery effort that is underway.
At the White House and on Capitol Hill, there is a targeted focus on recovery through infrastructure policy. It is a building effort offering jobs after the economy was devastated by COVID-19.
Read More: Biden signs $1.9T relief bill before speech to nation
At the heart of the initiative is bridging the digital divide in all areas of the country — from urban to rural communities who are not able to adequately connect or tap into information sources, especially during a crisis.
This plan is prime to employ many in that pool of millions who are unemployed.
Dr. Tarika Barrett, the CEO of Girls Who Code said, “COVID has decimated the economy and [those] who have left the workforce. It’s all the women of color who have left at alarming rates. If you think about the fact that tech will likely recover very quickly and continues to be a growth area, how do we ensure that we have this pipeline and that our girls and women are positioned to be successful? This is a huge, urgent issue.“
Dr. Barrett’s mission is to close the tech industry gender gap by 2030. Meanwhile, Black and brown representation in the tech industry is abysmal.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn told theGrio exclusively in a recent interview that broadband is a focus of the President’s infrastructure plan that encompasses the next phase of recovery.
Read More: Biden directs states to make all adults vaccine eligible by May 1
President Biden’s recovery package is expected to be laid out before the joint session of Congress. No date has been set for that speech.
However, Clyburn says “the most important part of infrastructure to me today is broadband. “That is the way you reach out to rural communities.”
It is a dual win if this is tackled, the jobs will close the digital divide that is hurting millions in this nation.
In 2021, we’ve seen stories about kids sitting outside of restaurants to do their homework and take advantage of the restaurants’ WiFi. There are still reports of some remote communities not being able to access WiFi at a time when all types of jobs are now technology based.
Additionally, when it comes to education during COVID, a study by RAND found kids without internet access are more likely to suffer.
Whip Clyburn introduced in the House on Wednesday a $94 billion bill called the Accessible Affordable Internet Act. Over a four-year period, the bill’s aim is to provide affordable, high-speed internet to the unserved and the underserved in the nation.
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