Biden Bits: Let’s Put an End to This Pandemic

Biden Tweets Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

It’s Thursday aka Almost Friday.

I’m not a rock star….but So What

For Thursday August 26th, 2021, President Biden has received his daily brief and the National Security team briefing on the ongoing situation in Afghanistan. Just before noon D.C., time, President Biden will welcome newly elected Prime Minister of Israel Naftali Bennett. After his expanded bilateral meeting with PM Bennett, President Biden will meet virtually with Governors from across the country who have to agreed to temporarily house or help resettle Afghans.

The White House published the press background call by Senior Admin Officials on President Biden’s working visit with Israel PM Bennett.

[snips from the call]

Some themes — of course, it’s just — the theme is the strategic partnership between the United States and Israel — ironclad, axiomatic, unbreakable, any word you want to use. 
I’ll just use the — as the Prime Minister was getting on an airplane to fly to Washington earlier [Tuesday], he said, quote, “Joe Biden is a true friend of Israel.  There is a new government in Israel and a new administration in the U.S., and I am bringing with me a new spirit of cooperation.” 

I think we are receiving him very much in that spirit.  And, of course, Joe Biden truly is a true friend of Israel.  It’s just part of who he is.  And if you’re around him, talking about Israel and the relationship, you just — you really feel that. 

So, it’s a chance for the Prime Minister to hear directly from the President his ironclad commitment to Israel’s security and self-defense, and supporting Israel’s defense needs. 

The President will also, I think, obviously discuss with Prime Minister Bennett our commitment, not just to Israel, but to our partners in the Middle East.  And obviously, in the backdrop of what’s going on in Afghanistan, I think that’s quite important. 

It’s important in the context of those events because what’s happening there — if anything, the end of America’s military involvement in Afghanistan frees up resources and attention and ultimately allows us to better support our partners like Israel.

I’m often asked, “Are we de-prioritizing the Middle East and our friends in the Middle East?”  And nothing could be further from the truth.  If anything, in the Biden administration, we are not pursuing, you know, unachievable goals. 

And they’ll, of course, discuss Israel’s [Iran’s] destabilizing activities in the region and particularly a very effective bilateral program we’ve set up with the Israelis during a strategic consultation group that we had with them a couple months ago on countering Iranian UAVs.

The President also will discuss our commitment to Israel’s normalization with Arab partners in the region.  We’re very pleased with the relations between this new Israeli government led by Prime Minister Bennett and Jordan.  King Abdullah, of course, was just here a few weeks ago and that was a key theme of his.  And, of course, also relations between Israel and Egypt.  And Egypt plays such a critical role in ending the Gaza War.  And we think relations between Israel and Egypt are also very much on the right track. 

In terms of expanding broader normalization agreements — expansion of the Abraham Accords — we’ve done an awful lot of work behind the scenes in building upon the breakthroughs of UAE, Bahrain, Morocco.  And we’ll be discussing that with the Israeli delegation this week. 
But also behind the scenes, there’s an awful lot of work going on to expand those arrangements to other countries, so that will also be something that will be a topic of discussion.

White House.gov. 08/25/2021 (the call took place on 08/24/2021).

President Biden has not tweeted. President Biden has retweeted 2 times so far for Thursday; normally I don’t share the retweets, his new normal for now is this…

There has been an explosion outside the Kabul airport the Pentagon has confirmed.

As of 11:18 a.m. D.C., time, the Pentagon’s press briefing was delayed. It appears this press briefing has now been cancelled as of 11:42 a.m. D.C., time.

CNN is also reporting that Defense Security Austin Lloyd and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are in the Situation Room with the President.

Information at this moment is very fluid.

When Biden Bits was published for Wednesday, President Biden had only retweeted 2 times. He added 2 tweets giving him a Wednesday Tweeting Total of 2 tweets and 2 retweets.

On August 23rd Pfizer became the first vaccine to receive full FDA approval.

On August 25th, 2021, Moderna announced that they have completed the submission process to receive their full approval from the FDA.

Booster shots are still on schedule to start around September 20th, 2021. It’s 8 months after your second dose was received.

Please, if you haven’t already, get vaccinated.

The YouTube video is 3 minutes and 5 seconds long. I’m going copy and paste his full remarks.

Well, thank you all for being here to discuss the core national security challenge we’re facing, the American people are facing, and — and our economy is facing with cybersecurity. 

We’ve seen time and again how the technologies we rely on — from our cell phones to pipelines, to the electric grid — can become targets of ha- — hackers and criminals. 

At the same time, our skilled cybersecurity workforce has not grown fast enough to keep pace.  We’re about — the estimates many of you have given us and we’ve concluded are — on our own — about a half a million cybersecurity jobs remain unfilled. 

That’s a challenge, but it also is a real opportunity.  And I’ve made it — this a priority for my administration from the outset. 

And in May, I issued an executive order to modernize our defenses and improve our federal government’s cybersecurity.  Because of that order, government will only buy tech products that meet certain cybersecurity standards, which will have a ripple effect across the software industry, in our view, ultimately improving security for all Americans.

We’ve launched a 100-day initiative to improve cybersecurity across the electric sector.  That initiative has already resulted in more than 150 utilities that serve 90 million Americans being deployed.  And we’re committing to deploy cybersecurity technologies that are — that are extending that initiative as — to gas pipelines as well, next.  That’s where we’re going.

And because cybersecurity is a global issue, we’ve also rallied G7 countries to hold nations who harbor ransomware criminals accountable. 

And, I might add, I had a — a summit with Vladimir Putin and made it clear to him that we expected him to hold them accountable as well, because they know where they are and who they are.  But that’s another issue we will not be discussing so much today. 

We updated NATO cyber policy for the first time in seven years.  And today, my team is hosting a meeting, bringing together 30 of the nations — 30 nations to step up in their fight against ransomware. 

But the reality is, most of our critical infrastructure owned and operated — is owned and operated by the private sector, and the federal government can’t meet this challenge alone.

So I’ve invited you all here today because you have the power, the capacity, and the responsibility, I believe, to raise the bar on cybersecurity. 

And so, ultimately, we got a lot of work to do.   And thank you all very much.  And thank the press for being here.  We’re going to go private now.

Q    Mr. President, if Americans are still in Afghanistan after the deadline, what will you do?  Sir, what will you do if Americans are still there after the deadline?  No?  Okay.

THE PRESIDENT:  You’ll be the first person I’ll call.

Q    Please call them. 

White House.gov. 08/25/2021.

The White House published the following fact-sheet regarding cybersecurity:

The bullet points:

The purpose of today’s meeting was to discuss opportunities to bolster the nation’s cybersecurity in partnership and individually. Several participants announced commitments and initiatives including:

  • The Biden Administration announced that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will collaborate with industry and other partners to develop a new framework to improve the security and integrity of the technology supply chain. The approach will serve as a guideline to public and private entities on how to build secure technology and assess the security of technology, including open source software. Microsoft, Google, IBM, Travelers, and Coalition committed to participating in this NIST-led initiative.
  • The Biden Administration also announced the formal expansion of the Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Initiative to a second major sector: natural gas pipelines. The Initiative has already improved the cybersecurity of more than 150 electric utilities that serve 90 million Americans.
  • Apple announced it will establish a new program to drive continuous security improvements throughout the technology supply chain. As part of that program, Apple will work with its suppliers — including more than 9,000 in the United States— to drive the mass adoption of multi-factor authentication, security training, vulnerability remediation, event logging, and incident response.
  • Google announced it will invest $10 billion over the next five years to expand zero-trust programs, help secure the software supply chain, and enhance open-source security. Google also announced it will help 100,000 Americans earn industry-recognized digital skills certificates that provide the knowledge that can lead to secure high-paying, high-growth jobs. 
  • IBM announced it will train 150,000 people in cybersecurity skills over the next three years, and will partner with more than 20 Historically Black Colleges & Universities to establish Cybersecurity Leadership Centers to grow a more diverse cyber workforce.
  • Microsoft announced it will invest $20 billion over the next 5 years to accelerate efforts to integrate cyber security by design and deliver advanced security solutions. Microsoft also announced it will immediately make available $150 million in technical services to help federal, state, and local governments with upgrading security protection, and will expand partnerships with community colleges and non-profits for cybersecurity training.
  • Amazon announced it will make available to the public at no charge the security awareness training it offers its employees. Amazon also announced it will make available to all Amazon Web Services account holders at no additional cost, a multi-factor authentication device to protect against cybersecurity threats like phishing and password theft.
  • Resilience, a cyber insurance provider, announced it will require policy holders to meet a threshold of cybersecurity best practice as a condition of receiving coverage.
  • Coalition, a cyber insurance provider, announced it will make its cybersecurity risk assessment & continuous monitoring platform available for free to any organization.
  • Code.org announced it will teach cybersecurity concepts to over 3 million students across 35,000 classrooms over 3 years, to teach a diverse population of students how to stay safe online, and to build interest in cybersecurity as a potential career.
  • Girls Who Code announced it will establish a micro credentialing program for historically excluded groups in technology. The program will make scholarships and early career opportunities more accessible to underrepresented groups.
  • University of Texas System announced it will expand existing and develop new short-term credentials in cyber-related fields to strengthen America’s cybersecurity workforce. A major part of this effort will be to upskill and reskill over 1 million workers across the nation by making available entry-level cyber educational programs through UT San Antonio’s Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Credentials do not depend on traditional degree pathways, and should also contribute significantly to diversifying the pipeline. 
  • Whatcom Community College announced it has been designated the new NSF Advanced Technological Education National Cybersecurity Center, and will provide cybersecurity education and training to faculty and support program development for colleges to “fast-track” students from college to career. The nature of community colleges dispersed in every community in the nation makes them an ideal pipeline for increasing diversity and inclusion in the cybersecurity workforce.

The daily press briefing is scheduled to start at noon D.C., time.

Given the breaking news about 2 explosions I’m not sure this event will start on time, but President Biden’s virtual meeting with Governors is expected to start at 3:00 p.m. D.C., time.

Update.

The governors meeting has been cancelled. I’ve removed the video that no longer exists.

The meeting with the Israeli PM has been postponed until tomorrow.

Live Feeds for the briefing…

CNBC News.

Washington Post.

This is an open thread

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About Tiff 2615 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.