It’s Monday aka March 1st, 2021.
Aside from this Monday marking the start of month 3 of 2021, it also marks President Biden’s 40th day in Office.
For day 40, President Biden will speak this afternoon with Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
In a statement Friday, the White House said the meeting will take place virtually with the two leaders discussing “cooperation on migration, joint development efforts in Southern Mexico and Central America, COVID-19 recovery, and economic cooperation.”
The White House has published a fact sheet regarding the upcoming meeting.
The scope of bilateral relations between the United States and Mexico is broad and deep, encompassing extensive historical, cultural, and commercial ties. With 2,000 miles of border, the relationship with Mexico impacts the lives of millions of Americans every day. Each day, nearly $1.9 billion in trade crosses our shared border. Today, President Biden will meet with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to usher in a new phase of the U.S. – Mexico bilateral relationship emphasizing the following:
Pandemic Response: It is in the national security interest of both nations to work closely with Mexico to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Migration and Joint Development Efforts: The United States and Mexico share a vision that recognizes the dignity of migrants as well as orderly, safe and regular migration, and a shared commitment to addressing the root causes of irregular migration and we are working with regional and international partners to promote growth throughout the region. The United States has suspended all enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) and is now processing migrants at select ports of entry.
Economic Cooperation: The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will support mutually beneficial trade and will be the backbone of our regional economic recovery.
Security: The governments of Mexico and the United States agree on the importance of working together against the common threat posed by transnational organized crime.
Climate Change: The climate change agenda is a North American agenda, and both countries agree on the importance of tackling the climate crisis as both a security challenge and an economic opportunity.White House.gov. 03/01/2021.
Follow-up defense news…
As the News Blender reported on Friday, President Biden approved an airstrike against Iranian-backed militia located in Syria. The militia group was believed to be responsible for recent attacks against U.S., and coalition personal in Iraq.
On Saturday, President Biden sent a letter to the Speaker of the House and President pro tempore of the Senate.
The full letter:
Dear Madam Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
At my direction, on February 25, 2021, United States forces conducted a targeted military strike against infrastructure in eastern Syria used by Iran-supported non-state militia groups.
Those non-state militia groups were involved in recent attacks against United States and Coalition personnel in Iraq, including the February 15, 2021, attack in Erbil, Iraq, which wounded one United States service member, wounded four United States contractors, including one critically, and killed one Filipino contractor. These groups are also engaged in ongoing planning for future such attacks.
In response, I directed this military action to protect and defend our personnel and our partners against these attacks and future such attacks. The United States always stands ready to take necessary and proportionate action in self-defense, including when, as is the case here, the government of the state where the threat is located is unwilling or unable to prevent the use of its territory by non-state militia groups responsible for such attacks.
I directed this military action consistent with my responsibility to protect United States citizens both at home and abroad and in furtherance of United States national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct United States foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive. The United States took this action pursuant to the United States’ inherent right of self-defense as reflected in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.
I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action.White House.gov. 02/27/2021.
To finish his Friday he tweeted 3 more times, adding to the two covered in Friday’s Open Thread. He also retweeted one time. That gives him a Friday total of 5 tweets and 1 retweet.
1:55 p.m. D.C., time he shared a video clip where he assures American’s that the coronavirus vaccines are safe.
The video is 35 seconds long.
President Biden: But if there’s one message to cut through, it’s this: the vaccines are safe and effective. And I believe as you see your neighbor, your husband, your wife, your son, your daughter getting it, that you will be much more inclined to get it. List to Dr. Fauci. Listen to the scientists who developed these vaccines and the extensive and rigorous review they went through. I did. I took my shots publicly to demonstrate to the American people that it’s safe and effective.
At 5:47 p.m. D.C., time, the President posted a live stream to his remarks from the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
The video is 18 minutes and 55 seconds long, his full remarks can be found @ White House.gov..
[Remarks on the winter storm in Texas]:
And Jill and I wanted to visit Texas today for a couple of reasons: First and foremost, to let the people of Texas know our prayers are with you in the aftermath of this winter storm. And secondly, to let you know what I told Governor Abbott and Mayor Turner and Judge Hidalgo and the congressional delegation: that we will be true partners to help you recover and rebuild from the storms and this pandemic and the economic crisis. We’re in for the long haul.
The Federal Emergency Management, FEMA, is providing millions of gallons of water and millions of meals, direct assistance, to uninsured homeowners to repair the damage burst pipes caused to millions of homes across this state. And the public assistance that comes with a disaster declaration ensures that mayors and county officials can find shelter for folks in need and keep them safe and warm. This in addition to the more than 125,000 blankets FEMA has also made available to storm victims so children and families don’t go to sleep cold.
FEMA, working with the Defense Logistics Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers from the Defense Department, has made generators and diesel fuel available to hospitals and nursing homes and other critical facilities to keep the lights on and speed power restoration along the way. Many local military bases are helping efforts to distribute water and food, fuel, and blankets all across this state.
The more people get vaccinated, the faster we will beat this pandemic. That’s why one of my first steps and my first goals as President was to announce that I was going to get 100 million COVID vaccine shots administered in my first 100 days. And because of the people behind me and others, America would be the — is going to be the first in the country — perhaps the first in the world — to get that done.
And I’m proud to say we’re halfway there: 50 million shots. Actually, I —I was telling the congressman earlier, I carry a little card with me. And it lists, every day, the number of — the actual number of vaccines that have been administered. As of today, five- — as of last night, 503,587 — every single one matters — in just 37 days. (Applause.) Weeks ahead of schedule. We’re weeks ahead of schedule. Even with setbacks from the winter storm, we’re moving in the right direction.
Here in Texas, that includes 500 pharmacies across this state, like Walmart and CVS, including 50 pharmacies here in Houston. And for the folks who didn’t live near a vaccination center or a pharmacy, we’re deploying mobile clinics to go out to those neighborhoods in rural areas where people are unable to get to the centers. These are special vehicles with pop-up clinics that meet folks where they live and where they don’t have the transportation to get the shots, which they’ll be launching very soon here in Houston — that mobile — those mobile units — as well as Dallas, Arlington, and across the state.
I met today with Governor Abbott, Senator Cornyn — conservative Republicans. I’m a Democratic President. We disagree on plenty of things, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But there are plenty of things we can work on together, and one of them is represented right here today: the effort to speed up vaccinations. We’re not giving shots to Democrats or Republicans. I say it again: We’re giving shots to Americans.
All across the country, we’ve got members of the Armed Forces, FEMA, volunteers, retirees, fellow Americans working around the clock to give these shots. And they’re building on the work of scientists, researchers, doctors, and nurses. And my team at the White House, which is coordinating all of this, is first rate.White House.gov. 02/26/2021.
On Saturday he tweeted 5 times and retweeted 0 times.
@ 10:06 a.m. D.C., time, he shared his conversation with Erica a nurse from New York.
He asks her what he should be doing in regards to COVID “right now?” She answers that what would make her the “proudest” is that everyone who wants a vaccine is able to get one. The two go one to discuss what her hospital is doing regarding vaccinating people, Erica says that she believes they’ve vaccinated about 10,000 people. The pair also talk about the American Rescue Plan. The video is 2 minutes and 51 seconds long.
At 10:59 a.m. D.C., time, he shares a video statement regarding the American Rescue Plan.
While the video says it’s 17 minutes and 40 seconds long, his remarks are only 1 minute and 15 seconds long. If I had to guess, someone, forgot to cut the feed, when President Biden was finished…
Good morning, folks. For a few weeks now, an overwhelming percentage of the American public has made it clear that they support my American Rescue Plan. And the House of Representatives took the first step toward making it a reality.
And I want to thank — and I called her just a few moments ago — Nancy Pelosi for her extraordinary — Speaker Pelosi — for her extraordinary leadership and all those who supported our plan.
And with their vote, we are one step closer to vaccinating the nation. We are one step closer to putting $1,400 in the pockets of Americans. We are one step closer to extending unemployment benefits for millions of Americans who are shortly going to lose them.
We’re one step closer to helping millions of Americans feed their families and keep a roof over their head. We’re one step closer to getting our kids safely back in school. And we’re one step closer to getting state and local governments the money they need to prevent massive layoffs for essential workers.
Now — now the bill moves to the United States Senate where I hope it will receive quick action. I have — we have no time to waste.
If we act now — decisively, quickly, and boldly — we can finally get ahead of this virus. We can finally get our economy moving again.
And the people of this country have suffered far too much for too long. We need to relieve that suffering. The American Rescue Plan does just that: It relieves the suffering. And it’s time to act.
I thank you all for being here. I appreciate it.White House.gov. 02/27/2021.
After his short remarks @ 1:49 p.m. D.C., time, he thanks again Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and other House members who supported the American Rescue Plan.
@ 7:30 p.m. D.C., time he shares images from his visit to Texas on Friday.
At 11:05 p.m. the Presidential Twitter account responses to the news that the Johnson & Johnson single dose shot has been given emergency use authorization by the FDA.
The full statement:
Today, after a rigorous, open, and objective scientific review process, the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for a third safe and effective vaccine to help us defeat the COVID-19 pandemic — the Janssen COVID-19 (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine. This is exciting news for all Americans, and an encouraging development in our efforts to bring an end to the crisis.
We know that the more people get vaccinated, the faster we will overcome the virus, get back to our friends and loved ones, and get our economy back on track. Thanks to the brilliance of our scientists, the resilience of our people, and the eagerness of Americans in every community to protect themselves and their loved ones by getting vaccinated, we are moving in the right direction. I look forward to speaking more about today’s news and updating the American people on our progress this coming week.
But I want to be clear: this fight is far from over. Though we celebrate today’s news, I urge all Americans — keep washing your hands, stay socially distanced, and keep wearing masks. As I have said many times, things are still likely to get worse again as new variants spread, and the current improvement could reverse. My Administration will not make the mistake of taking this threat lightly, or just assuming the best: that’s why we need the American Rescue Plan to keep this fight going in the months ahead.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we cannot let our guard down now or assume that victory is inevitable. We must continue to remain vigilant, act fast and aggressively, and look out for one another — that is how we are going to reach that light together.White House.gov. 02/27/2021.
For Sunday he tweeted 2 times and retweeted 1 time.
1:04 p.m. D.C., time, he stresses again the importance of getting the coronavirus vaccine.
It’s important that everyone who can get the vaccine when it’s our turn get vaccinated. But as he stresses and the White House COVID-19 response team also stresses, even with the vaccine we must continue to wear our masks, social distance, and wash our hands. In short, stay on virus footing, it sucks, but staying healthy, is more important than a Maroon 5 concert. Sad, but true.
That concludes my cheesy PSA…
At 8:01 p.m. D.C., time he shares a video that says “the choice to join a union is up to the workers–full stop”.
CNBC News reported on Sunday that “Earlier this month, close to 6,000 workers at an Amazon facility in Bessemer, Alabama, began voting by mail on whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, kicking off the first major unionization effort within the company since 2014. Last November, workers at the Alabama facility notified the NLRB of their plans to hold a vote on whether to be represented by the RWDSU.”
The mail-in vote has to be received by March 29th, 2021, with the counting expected to come the next day.
For Monday he has tweeted 2 times so far.
10:04 a.m. D.C., time he shares a video of Dr. Fauci speaking on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The video is 1 minute and 15 seconds long.
Dr. Fauci: I would definitely take the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. [it cuts away to the title “Dr. Anthony Fauci on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine”].
Fauci con’t: My name is Dr. Anthony Fauci and I’m the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden and I’m going to answer questions about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Q: What is the story with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine?
A: This is a vaccine that works and it only requires one dose. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a particular–what we call vaccine platform. And you inject it into the body, the body sees that protein and makes it a good immune response against the entire virus.
Q: Does this vaccine give you COVID?
A: The COVID vaccine doesn’t give you COVID because it’s not the virus. It’s just one protein from the virus that induces your body to make a good response against the whole virus.
Q: Some are worried the Johnson 7 Johnson vaccine is said to be 66 percent effective, should they be?
A: Well, it’s not. It tested in the United States, it’s 72 percent effective in preventing you from getting moderate to severe disease, but virtually 100 percent protective against hospitalizations and death as proven by this trial that was done.
At 11:55 p.m. D.C., time, because yeah, just what I needed a last minute close to post time tweet!, he shares a push for his American Rescue Plan.
Since they wanted the plan passed in March, I suspect we will see a lot of renewed pushes for the American Rescue plan in the coming days…
The White House daily press briefing is scheduled for noon D.C., time. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced this morning that Department of Homeland Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, will be at today’s briefing.
Live Feed: The White House.