President Biden says ‘help is on the way’

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC News) — President Biden is offering hope, along with a warning as his administration tackles the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Help is on the way,” Mr. Biden promised Thursday.

At the same time, he’s predicting the U.S. death toll could top half a million people by next month.

“We’re still in a dark winter of this pandemic. It’s going to get worse before it gets better,” the president said.

Two new executive orders will provide economic relief.

One expands food stamps and other government assistance, including direct payments to the neediest Americans. It pauses debt payments for veterans and underscores the right to turn down jobs that put a person’s health at risk.

The second order establishes a $15 minimum wage for federal workers.

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