President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan for the coronavirus-sapped US economy before he takes office next week.
Biden from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, he said: “A crisis of deep human suffering is in plain sight and there’s no time to waste.”
“The very health of our nation is at stake,” he added. “We have to act and we have to act now.”
The incoming president said: “There will be stumbles, but I will always be honest with you about both the progress we’re making and what setbacks we meet.”
If passed by Congress, it would include $1 trillion for households, with direct payments of $1,400 to all Americans.
The relief proposal includes $415 billion to to fight the virus and $440 billion for small businesses.
Mr Biden, a Democrat, has promised to beat the pandemic that has killed more than 385,000 people in the US.
He campaigned last year vowing to do a better job handling the virus than outgoing President Donald Trump, a Republican.
The direct payments of $1,400 would come on top of $600 payments provided in a relief bill enacted last month.
Mr Biden’s proposal comes as a winter surge of the coronavirus breaks records.
Each day brings well over 200,000 new cases in the US and the daily death toll sometimes tops 4,000.
So far, about 11 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The vaccine rollout in the United States has been a dismal failure thus far,” said Mr Biden. His administration aims to deliver 100 million jabs in 100 days.
His plan also calls for $50 billion to expand testing and $130bn to help most schools reopen by the spring.
The plan would fund the hiring of 100,000 public health workers for contact tracing.
Republicans are likely to object to piling up trillions more in debt that the US has already incurred to tackle the pandemic, but since both the chambers of the Congress are now controlled by the Democrats, the bill is expected to sail smoothly.