The American Rescue Plan is big. Really big. $1.9 trillion. With millions of people unemployed or underemployed, schools trying to reopen safely, and lines for food banks extending around blocks, this is a time for big solutions to big challenges. America’s challenges will not be resolved through inaction, especially when a thousand people a day are dying from COVID-19.

The American Rescue Plan includes billions of dollars to administer and distribute vaccines, diagnose infections, and purchase testing supplies and protective equipment. There are also funds for hospitals, public health agencies, and biomedical research. During a global pandemic, our communities and health care workers need resources.

The American Rescue Plan also aggressively targets the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic. Families and individuals will get help through direct payments, as will those who remain unemployed. Small business loans, ­emergency rental assistance, and grants for restaurants are included to boost the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) resources. An expansion of the child tax credit will lift tens of millions of children out of poverty. Emergency health coverage will be given to those who have slipped through the cracks of a system badly in need of repair.

President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Congressional leadership has developed an ambitious piece of legislation. It’s big. It’s comprehensive. It responds to a crisis. This is the kind of action we need to deliver relief for working people.

Erik Clarke