President Biden Tweets for Thursday’s Open Thread

Pardon Our Mess. Photo by Marty Mankins.

It’s Thursday.

For Thursday, July 8th, 2021, President Biden probably received his daily brief even though it’s not listed on his daily schedule. This morning he along with Vice President Kamala Harris, received an update on the progress of our military drawdown from Afghanistan. This afternoon President Biden will deliver remarks on the continued drawdown efforts in Afghanistan. Following his remarks President Biden is expected to meet with civil rights organizations.

During a press gaggle on Air Force Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the march of the Taliban as U.S. forces withdrawal from Afghanistan.

I’m going to post the question, then Psaki’s answer, in part, I’m omitting her struggle to form words after the plane appears to have hit some turbulence.

Q: On Afghanistan: How is the U.S. going to continue its civilian — its civil and humanitarian support for the country if the Taliban continues its march?  Is there a plan to work with the Taliban?  Is there — how do you do it? 

Psaki: So, there are a number of efforts that will be underway; one are political negotiations.  Certainly, the State Department would provide an update of when those will reconvene, but we certainly expect and hope and are supportive of the continuation of those political discussions. One of the reasons that the President made the decision he did is because he does not feel there’s a military solution for a 20-year war.  Has — has long felt there was not a military solution.  Diplomatic negotiations. Two, as he reiterated when Afghan leaders were here just a couple of weeks ago, we will continue to provide, as you said, humanitarian assistance, security assistance.  We intend to continue to have a diplomatic presence on the ground in Kabul, even after we bring the servicemen and women home at the end of August.  So, that is a mechanism for that. I would say, three, obviously, as you know, we’re going to continue to work with partners in the region to plan for our own CT preparations.

I’ve cued the video to the question and answer.

CNN reported this morning that according to White House officials, the President will detail, “US security and humanitarian assistance that will carry on once the troop presence ends,” in his remarks this afternoon.

More from CNN:

The withdrawal is now more than 90% complete, officials say. The last US troops left Bagram Air Base last week, marking the end of the American presence at the sprawling compound that became the center of military power in Afghanistan.

Some Afghan soldiers told CNN they only found out the Americans were leaving that very day. And Afghan officials accompanying CNN on a tour of Bagram on Monday confessed they were only then getting access to much of the base and working out what had been left behind.

One senior officer said he was notified last Thursday that his forces had less than 24 hours to secure the perimeter of the base.

Biden has vowed to allow those who helped the US effort to come to the United States, but the visa process has been slow, leading officials to develop plans to relocate them to a third country. A senior administration official said Thursday that Biden would directly address the thousands of Afghans waiting on their visa applications during his speech. While it likely won’t be a major announcement, the official said

Biden will discuss plans to begin relocating those Afghans in August.
Biden’s aides have said the relocation for those waiting on visas will be finished before the drawdown is complete at the end of August, without specifying how many people they are talking about moving or confirming where they will go while they wait.

CNN. 07/08/2021.

The Washington Post reported this morning that between 650 to 1,000 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan to protect the U.S. Embassy and the airport.

President Biden has tweeted 2 time’s so far for Thursday. I’ll be posting them down thread.

When Wednesday’s Open Thread was published President Biden had posted 1 tweet. He added 7 tweets and no retweets giving him a Wednesday Tweeting Total of 8 tweets and 0 retweets.

On Tuesday as seen in Tuesday’s Open Thread, President Biden offered remarks on the coronavirus pandemic and the vaccination program.

President Biden: COVID-19 cases and deaths are down by 90 percent since January.  Millions of fully vaccinated Americans are getting back to — they’re living their lives as they did before.  Businesses are reopening and hiring and rehiring.  And projected economic growth is the highest it’s been — projected growth is the highest it’s been in four decades. And the bottom line is: The virus is on the run, and America is coming back.  We’re coming back together.

Speaking of the coronavirus vaccines, during the press gaggle yesterday, Psaki was asked about two things; the door-to-door vaccination push and would the federal government mandate the vaccines.

Q: On vaccination: Yesterday, you talked about door knocking, which is a pretty standard thing, and it was picked up in the far-right sphere as, you know, “the government is going to come to your door and make you get a vaccine.”  I am wondering your reaction to that and what that type of messaging does for the efforts to, you know, convince people who might be hesitant to get vaccinated. 

She said: Well, I appreciate the question.  Well, let me tell you what this is and what it is not.  What this effort is is a continuation of what we have seen as an impactful effort that we’ve had by local public health officials and volunteers in a range of communities over the last month of action. We’ve actually seen an impact — a positive impact of a range of steps we’ve taken in states like Florida, Mississippi, others where there have been lower vaccination rates.  There’s been actually an increase by over 4 percent in Florida, over the last month, of adults. But what we’re doing is local officials are going to areas where there are lower vaccination rates and providing information on where people can get access to a vaccine, where they can go, that it’s free, that they can take time off of work.  It’s up to individuals to decide whether they want to get vaccinated or not. But what we’ve seen as a barrier all along, for months, has been access and information, and so we’re going to continue to deploy the tactic — tactics that we’ve seen effective over the last few months.

Q: And a lot of folks in the public health world have said that while they appreciate the voluntary nature, that you guys are — you know, what you just said, that it’s up to the individual to get vaccinated — they also think that the only way to get to, sort of, much larger numbers of vaccinated people is if there are mandates — whether those be mandates by private companies for their employees or universities or public schools or states that mandate for different kinds of, you know, healthcare workers or others. Yesterday, when I asked you the question, you said you had no interest in the government — that the administration has no interest in encouraging that.  I mean, is that really the position of the federal government, is that you do not want to encourage the kind of mandates that public health officials say would work?

Psaki: Well, I think, for clarity, that’s not currently the role of the federal government.  And our role is to provide supply, provide information, provide public health experts.  As — to your point, there are a number of private sector entities, universities, institutions that are starting to mandate, and that’s an innovative step that they will take and they should take.  That’s not — and we’re not taking issue with that. But, Mike, I think the important thing to remind everyone of is that, one, we have reduced the rate of COVID by 90 percent.  We’ve reduced the death rate by 90 percent.  Almost 70 percent of the adult population is vaccinated, and we’re continuing to press further. There are institutions, there are private sector entities that will take this step.  We’re not standing in their way.  Those are innovative steps.  Go forward and take steps that you feel are appropriate.  We’re just talking about what the steps are, what the role is of the federal government.

Q: The administration is sort of trapped between the people who are saying, “You need to do more; you need to mandate or you’re just not going to reach people,” and the people who are saying, “Oh, my God.  The government is going to mandate this.”  It seems like you’re kind of stuck in the middle.

Psaki: Sure.  But I think what we continue to remember is what constructive role we can play as the federal government, and that includes continuing to use resources to get out into communities; to empower public health officials; to get accurate information out; to ensure people understand, as the CDC put out information earlier today or overnight, that 50 percent of the indivi- — of the cases are now, as a result of the Delta variant, higher in areas where there are lower vaccination rates.
That is the role where we’re going to spend our energy and our resources.

Gee, I wonder what barriers might exist….

Also it was reported this morning…

TOKYO, July 8 (Reuters) – Organisers of the Tokyo Olympics have agreed to hold the event without spectators under a COVID-19 state of emergency, Japan’s Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa said on Thursday.

Reuters. 07/08/2021.

The above is the whole article.

The ban came hours after a state of emergency in the capital starting from Monday, declared by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to contain rising COVID-19 cases.

The twin decisions have turned the Olympics into a made-for-TV event in a decision pushed by the Japanese government and supported by the International Olympic Committee.

“Many people were looking forward to watching the games at the venues, but I would like everyone to fully enjoy watching the games on TV at home,” Koike said after the meeting.

Fans from aboard were banned months ago, and the new measures will clear venues around Tokyo — indoor and outdoor — of any fans at all.

AP News. 07/08/2021.

The emergency declaration starts on Monday and runs through until August 22nd. The AP adds; The main focus of the emergency is a request for bars, restaurants and karaoke parlors serving alcohol to close. A ban on serving alcohol is a key step to tone down Olympic-related festivities and keep people from drinking and partying. Tokyo residents are expected to face stay-home requests and watch the games on TV from home.

The reason the new declaration doesn’t start until Monday is the current declaration doesn’t expire until Sunday.

On-ward to the rest of the tweets!

The video is 29 minutes and 24 seconds long. President Biden’s remarks can be found here. I’m including a different video, as the video on the above stream is crappy. At first I thought it was just my lacking external speakers, but the below video I can hear just fine. I will be using the below video for cue marks.

President Biden (15:03): There’s a lot more the agreement is going to do to encourage the physical and ensure — the physical infrastructure lays the foundation for a strong, durable, and sustainable competitive economy. But what I want to talk to you about today is human infrastructure.  It’s essential to that foundation, as well.  To truly win the 21st century and once again lead the world, to truly build an economy from the bottom up and the middle out, to truly deal everybody in this time, we need to invest in our people.  We need to invest in our people.

President Biden (17:27): Does anybody think, in the 21st century, with the change that’s taking place in technology and across the board, that 12 years of education is enough to be able to live a middle-class life?  I don’t think so. And so, the fact of the matter is we’ve decided — I’ve decided we should have a minimum of 14 years of education.  Fourteen years of education — which I’ll explain in a second. You know, as the First Lady — I’m Jill Biden’s husband, but — (laughter) — but as Jill would say — and she’s a full-time community college professor while being the First Lady — she often says, “Any nation that out-educates us is going to out-compete us.”  Any nation that out-educates us is going to out compete us. That’s why I want to guarantee an additional four additional years of public education for every person in America, starting with providing two years of universal, high-quality preschool for three- and four-year-olds, building—building on what the governor has been doing here in Illinois. 

President Biden (31:17): We can’t wait any longer to deal with the climate crisis. We see it with our own eyes, and it’s time to act. The bipartisan agreement we reached makes some major strides. It’s going to allow the transition of thousands of old, for example, of diesel school buses and buses — city buses. We’re going to change them to electric buses. There are roughly a half a million of these iconic yellow school buses on the road today. Ninety-five percent of them run on diesel, for example. And diesel pollutes the air and is linked to asthma and other health problems, and it hurts our communities and it causes our students to miss school. I’ll put Americans to work capping tens of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells that are leaking methane. It’s devastating. And the wages to fill these — cap these wells are the same wages that it took to dig the wells, making people earn — be able to earn a prevailing wage to do it. There’s thousands of them. But we need to go further. I want to provide tax cuts for businesses and consumers who invest in clean energy technologies like renewables, battery storage, next-generation aviation fuels, electric vehicles. I want to set the clean electricity standard that moves us to a fully clean and reliable grid.

President Biden (23:35): My plan will also provide up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for medical–up to 12 weeks of paid family leave.  Look, we’re one of the few major economies in the world that doesn’t cover paid family and medical leave. 

His two tweets so far for Thursday are also text taken from his remarks yesterday.

President Biden (33:50): Folks, I’ve laid out a lot of plans here, but that’s because it’s time, and we have to think bigger, and we have to act bolder, and we have to build back better.

President Biden (38:22): One percent — you know, if we just — 1 percent — the folks in the top 1 percent, if they just paid their personal income state tax, the same as it was under President George Bush — George W. Bush — that would generate $13 billion a year.  It would raise the tax from what it is now, 35, to 39 percent.  It’s what it — I mean, it’s not like this idea where you’d listen to the guy that used to have his job that somehow we’re gouging people. The fact of the matter is, a lot of you, if you’re — if you’re a plumber or a teacher, you’re probably paying 25, 26 percent.  Some of you be paying higher. But, here, look: It’s enough to provide for — that one change — enough to provide for two years free community college for every student in America. 

His non-related to remarks tweet from Wednesday.

The White House published the following statement:

We are shocked and saddened to hear of the horrific assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and the attack on First Lady Martine Moïse of Haiti.  We condemn this heinous act, and I am sending my sincere wishes for First Lady Moïse’s recovery. The United States offers condolences to the people of Haiti, and we stand ready to assist as we continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti.  

White House.gov. 07/07/2021.

NPR.org reported on Wednesday that according to the Acting Prime Minister of Haiti, Claude Joseph, the President of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated in his private resident. The First Lady of Haiti was also wounded in the attack.

Joseph said the assassination occurred at the Presidential Palace around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

“This was a highly coordinated attack by a highly trained and heavily armed group,” he recounted in a statement, according to a CNN translation.

He had previously said without explanation that some of the unknown attackers were speaking Spanish. The primary languages in Haiti are French and Haitian Creole.

More details on the attack would be released, Joseph promised, as he vowed to catch the perpetrators responsible for Moïse’s killing. He called for an international investigation into the assassination and urged the United Nations to hold a Security Council meeting about the situation in the Caribbean country.

NPR.org. 07/07/2021.

This morning NPR.org., reported; Police say they killed four suspects in a tense hostage situation and arrested two others, but who the suspects are and their motivation remain a mystery. Haitian authorities have reacted quickly to the attack: arresting alleged gunmen, closing borders and instituting martial law. Jovenel Moïse was killed in his home early Wednesday, according to authorities. His wife and Haiti’s first lady, Martine, was shot and injured as well. She was reportedly in stable but critical condition and has been sent to Miami for treatment.


The White House press briefing is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. D.C., time.

President Biden’s remarks on Afghanistan are scheduled for 1:45 p.m. D.C., time.

This is an open thread

About the opinions in this article…

Any opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this website or of the other authors/contributors who write for it.

About Tiff 2655 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.