Remarks by President Biden in a CNN Town Hall With Anderson Cooper | Beaufort County Now | Remarks by President Biden in a CNN Town Hall With Anderson Cooper | president, joe biden, joe wht hs, remarks, CNN, town hall, anderson cooper, february 17, 2021

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Remarks by President Biden in a CNN Town Hall With Anderson Cooper

Press Release:

Pabst Theater  •  Milwaukee, WI  •  February 16  •  7:59 P.M. CST

    MR. COOPER: And welcome. We are live in the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This is a CNN Presidential Town Hall — the first with President Joe Biden. I'm Anderson Cooper. President Biden is just four weeks into his presidency and facing multiple crises: nearly 500,000 of our fellow citizens — Americans — have died from COVID-19, millions out of work right now, and a nation dangerously divided.

    Tonight, we're going to be answering questions from the American people. The President will be answering questions from the American people on his first official trip since taking office. Some of the questioners here voted for him. Some did not.

    The President and I will not be wearing masks on this stage. He, of course, has been vaccinated. Over the past several weeks, I have repeatedly tested negative for coronavirus — as recently as yesterday and this morning as well. We will however be keeping our distance from one another, and the audience is very limited, socially distanced, and all wearing masks when they're seated.

    With that, I want to welcome the 46th President of the United States, President Joe Biden. (Applause.)

    THE PRESIDENT: Hey, Anderson.

    MR. COOPER: How are you, sir?

    THE PRESIDENT: Good to see you, man. Hey, folks. How are you? (Applause.) Good to be back, man.

    MR. COOPER: Yeah, it's nice to see you, sir.

    THE PRESIDENT: And you know you enjoy being home with the baby more. I don't want to hear this.

    MR. COOPER: (Laughs.) I do. Yes. He's nine and a half months, so I'm very happy.

    THE PRESIDENT: I get it. No, no, everybody knows I like kids better than people.

    MR. COOPER: I saw a picture of you with your grandson recently.

    THE PRESIDENT: That's right.

    MR. COOPER: Yeah. So we got a lot of questions in the audience. We have about 50 or so people here. They're all socially distanced. We have some folks who voted for you, some folks who did not. And we're going to get as many questions in as possible.

    Before we get to that, I just want to start with a couple of just big-picture questions about the pandemic and where we are right now.


    MR. COOPER: New cases of COVID-19 hospitalizations have fallen by half in the last month, so have new cases. That's the good news. There's this potential threat — potential surge from the variants coming down the pike potentially. When is every American who wants it going to be able to get a vaccine?

    THE PRESIDENT: By the end of July of this year. We have — we came into office, there was only 50 million doses that were available. We have now — by the end of July, we'll have over 600 million doses — enough to vaccinate every single American.

    MR. COOPER: When you say — (applause) — when you say "by the end of July," do you mean that they will be available or that people will have been able to actually get them? Because Dr. Fauci —

    THE PRESIDENT: They'll be available.

    MR. COOPER: They'll be available.

    THE PRESIDENT: They'll be available.

    MR. COOPER: Okay.


    THE PRESIDENT: Here, look, we — what we did — we got into office and found out the supply — there was no backlog. I mean, there was nothing in the refrigerator, figuratively and literally speaking, and there were 10 million doses a day that were available.

    We've upped that, in the first three weeks that we were in office, to significantly more than that. We've moved out — went to the Pfizer and Moderna, and said, "Can you produce more vaccine and more rapidly?" They not only agreed to go from 200 to 400 — and they've agreed to go to 600 million doses. And that's — and they're — and we got them to move up the time because we used the National Defense Act to be able to help the manufacturing piece of it to get more equipment and so on.

    MR. COOPER: So if, end of April — excuse me, end of July, they're available to actually get them in the arms of people who want them, that will take — what? — a couple more months?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, no, a lot will be being vaccinated in the meantime.

    MR. COOPER: Okay.

    THE PRESIDENT: In other words, it's not all of a sudden 600 million doses are going to appear. And what's going to happen is: It's going to continue to increase as we move along, and we'll have — we'll have reached 400 million by the end of May and 600 million by the middle of — by the end of July.

    And the biggest thing, though, as you remember when you and I — no, I shouldn't say it that way, "as you remember" — but when you and I talked last, we talked about — it's one thing to have the vaccine, which we didn't have when we came into office, but a vaccinator — how do you get the vaccine into someone's arm? So you need the paraphernalia. You need the needle, and you need mechanisms to be able to get it in. You have to have people who can inject it into people's arms.

    MR. COOPER: That's been one of the problems is just getting enough people.

    THE PRESIDENT: Yes, now we have — we have made significant strides increasing the number of vaccinators. I've — I issued an executive order allowing former retired docs and nurses to do it. We have over 1,000 military personnel. The CDC is — I mean, excuse me, the — we have gotten the National Guard engaged.

    So we have significant number of vaccinators — people who would actually be there. Plus, we've opened up a considerable number of locations where you can get the vaccination.

    MR. COOPER: I want to introduce you to Kevin Michel. He's an independent from Wauwatosa. He's a mechanical engineer for a vehicle company.

    Kevin, welcome. What's your question?

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi, welcome to Milwaukee.

    THE PRESIDENT: How you doing?

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: Good. My question is regarding education.


    AUDIENCE MEMBER: And considering that hybrid and virtual school instruction have been in place for nearly a year now, what is the plan and recommendation to get students back into the brick-and-mortar buildings? As a parent of four children, I find it imperative that they get back to school as safely as possible.

    THE PRESIDENT: My mother would say, "God bless you, son." No purgatory for you — four kids home. I really mean it. And, by the way, the loss of being able to be in school is having significant impact on the children and parents as well.

    And so, what we found out is, there are certain things that make it rational and easy to go back to the brick-and-mortar building. One, first of all, making sure everybody is wearing protective gear — it's available to students, as well as to teachers, the janitors, the people who work in the cafeteria, the bus drivers.

    Secondly, organizing in smaller pods, which means that's why we need more teachers. Instead of a classroom of 30 kids in it, you have three classes and that same — of 10 kids each in those. And I'm — I'm not making the number up; it might be less. It doesn't have to be literally 10.

    In addition to that, we also have indicated that it is much better, it's much easier to send kids K-through-8 back because they are less likely to communicate the disease to somebody else. But because kids in — sophomores, juniors, and seniors in high school — they socialize a lot more, and they're older, and they transmit more than young kids do, it's harder to get those schools open without having everything from the ventilation systems and — and having —

    For example, school bus drivers — you know, we — we got to make sure that you don't have 60 kids, or however many there — depending on the size of school bus — sitting two abreast in every single seat.

    And so there's a lot of things we can do, short of — and I think that we should be vaccinating teachers. We should move them up in the hierarchy as well. (Applause.)


    MR. COOPER: Well, let me ask you, you — your administration had set a goal to open the majority of schools in your first 100 days. You're now saying that means those schools may only be open for at least one day a week.

    THE PRESIDENT: No, that's not true. That's what was reported; that's not true. There was a mistake in the communication. But what I — what I'm talking about is I said opening the majority of schools in K-through-eighth grade because they're the easiest to open, the most needed to be opened, in terms of the impact on children and families having to stay home.

    MR. COOPER: So when do you think that would be — K-through-8, at least five days a week if possible?

    THE PRESIDENT: I think we'll be close to that at the end of the first 100 days. We've had a significant percentage of them being able to be opened. My — my guess is they're going to probably be pushing to open all for — all summer — to continue like it's a different semester (inaudible).

    MR. COOPER: Do you think that would be five days a week or just a couple?

    THE PRESIDENT: I think — I think many of them are five days a week. The goal will be five days a week. Now, it's going to be harder to open up the high schools for the reasons I said — just like, if you notice, the contagion factor in colleges is much higher than it is in high schools or grade schools.

    MR. COOPER: I want you to meet — this is Justin Belot. He's a high school teacher from Milwaukee who's a Democrat. Justin, thanks for being with us. What's your question?

    THE PRESIDENT: What do you teach?

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: I teach English. High school English.

    THE PRESIDENT: My wife teaches. God love you.

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: Wonderful. Thank you, Mr. President. So along the same lines of schools, so this great debate on when to transition to in-person learning: While there are numerous warnings not to be in large groups or to have dinner parties or small parties, why is it okay to put students and teachers in close proximity to each other for an entire day, day after day? With large class sizes and outdated ventilation systems, how and when do you propose this to occur? And finally, do you believe all staff should be vaccinated before doing so?

    THE PRESIDENT: Number one, nobody is suggesting, including the CDC in this recent out report, that you have large classes, congested classes. It's smaller classes; more ventilation; making sure that everybody has masks and is socially distanced, meaning you have less — fewer students in one room; making sure that everyone from the sanitation workers who work in the — in the lavatories, in the bathrooms, and do the — and do the — all the maintenance, that they are in fact able to be protected as well. Making sure you're in a situation where you don't have the congregation of a lot of people — as I said, including the school bus, including getting on a school bus.

    So it's about needing to be able to socially distance, smaller classes, more protection. And I think the teachers and the folks who work in the school — the cafeteria workers and others — should be on the list of preferred to get a vaccination.

    MR. COOPER: I want to introduce you to Kerri Engebrecht, an independent from Oak Creek.

    Kerri, welcome. Go ahead.

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you.


    Read the full transcript HERE.

You can visit a collection of all White House posts by clicking HERE.


( February 17th, 2021 @ 10:07 pm )
Marshmallow Journalism at its best. Nothing more from the Vanderbilt boy and the Imposter President.

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