President-elect Joe Biden announced his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan on Thursday, aimed at helping the country recover from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Among its proposals are an additional $1,400 in direct payments; increased aid to state and local governments that have seen losses of tax revenue; an increase in the minimum wage, to $15 per hour; and funding for a national vaccination plan and school reopenings.
The plan is receiving mostly favorable reviews, in first impressions ranging from his former primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on the left to Wall Street on the right, where investors had expected a strong rescue package following the Democratic victories in Georgia’s Senate runoffs and the change in Senate control.
However, Fox News is already beginning to fearmonger about the plan.
Fox’s “news” side led off a segment about the plan with a full-screen scare graphic titled “The Price of ‘Progre$$.’” “This is a massive price tag,” co-anchor Sandra Smith asked Fox Business host Stuart Varney. “How do we pay for this?” Varney reminded Smith, “This is a response to the virus, a response to a clear emergency, and they don't care about how much they've got to borrow and spend. They just want to get out of this thing.” Varney added, however, that Republicans were unlikely to support financial aid for state and local governments in “the badly run Democrat states.”
Fox & Friends brought on Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL), who called it “a bailout package for blue states with their bad policies, for their lockdown policies.” Co-host Pete Hegseth agreed with Hegseth: “Col. Waltz, but you’re playing in the real world. In their world, you just print more of it, and it’s all good. And in phase 2, you might as well address clean energy, too, because that has a lot with COVID-19, which is exactly what Joe Biden announced.”
The show also fearmongered about praise of the plan from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who called it “a very good start.” “Wow, if the socialist likes it, that tells you about everything you need to know,” said co-host Pete Hegseth.
Co-host Ainsley Earhardt also falsely claimed that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had previously blocked stimulus checks, only to switch gears “as soon as Biden’s elected.” In fact, the $2,000 stimulus checks had been blocked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — who kept the previous check amounts down to $600 — before he ultimately lost his Senate majority with the two Democratic victories in the Georgia runoffs.
The show also welcomed Fox Business host Charles Payne, discussing comments by Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue that America was headed toward “the iceberg of communism.”