Biden to be inaugurated later today; stocks close in positive territory.
In a recently released video, US President Donald Trump delivered his farewell address, highlighting his administration's economic achievements for the United States. Afterward, Trump granted pardons and commutations to 143 people, including to ex-aide Steve Bannon. Contrary to expectations, he did to pardon himself or any of his family members.
“I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices because that’s what you elected me to do," Trump said. "This, I hope, will be our greatest legacy: together, we put the American people back in charge of our country.”
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to be inaugurated in Washington DC later today. Trump already made clear that he is not attending the inauguration ceremony, which will be guarded by 25,000 troops in light of the potential risks that became evident after the assault of the Capitol. In the ceremony, Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
Biden inherits a nation that is being immensely affected by the spread of the COVID-19 virus, as well as a very politically divided population. US debt surged by $7 trillion during the Trump era, which poses a problem to the incoming administration, as it intends to implement a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan.
It seems that the new administration is going to focus first on the distribution of vaccines against COVID-19. Biden's team expects to distribute around 100 million vaccines during the 100 first days of the administration, as many hope this will aid the United States in its economic recovery.
So far, 24,809,841 total cases have been reported in the United States, as well as 411,520 deaths, making it the most affected country in the world. According to data released by the CDC, 15.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered until now, while 31,161,075 doses have been already distributed.
Dr. Anthony Fauci recently warned against the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus, which according to British sources is more contagious than the current one.
"The more cases you have, the more hospitalizations you're going to have. The more hospitalizations you have, the more deaths you're going to have," he explained.
Yesterday, the US stock markets closed mainly in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.38% during the session, closing at the 30,930.52 level, followed by the S&P 500, which jumped by 0.81% and closed the session at the 3,798.91 level. Similarly, the NASDAQ 100 rose by 1.50%, closing the session at the 12,996.54 level, followed by the NYSE Composite, which gained 0.63% during the session and closed at the 14,987.34 level.
Oil markets also rallied during the session, as the West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures gained 1.18% during the session, closing at the 52.98 level. Similarly, Brent oil futures gained 2.10% during the session and closed at the 55.90 level.