Biden Bits: Get Through This by Working Together…

Biden Tweets Christmas Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

It’s Wednesday. 12/29/2021. Times are Pacific not Eastern.

For Wednesday, December 29th, 2021, President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will leave Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, in order to travel to their home in Wilmington, Delaware.

President Biden has tweeted 1 time so far for Wednesday…

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act can be found here.

You can also find more information on the Bipartisan Infrastructure bill @ the News Blender.

When Biden Bits was posted on Tuesday, President Biden had tweeted 1 time. He added 4 tweets giving him a Tuesday Tweeting Total of 5 tweets and 0 retweets.

On December 21st, 2021, the White House released a fact-sheet announcing; New Actions to Protect Americans and Help Communities and Hospitals Battle Omicron

The bullet points:

Increased Support for Hospitals: The President will take several steps to ensure states and health systems across the country have the personnel, beds, and supplies they need as they battle rising Omicron hospitalizations, mostly among the unvaccinated. Today’s steps build on the President’s Winter Plan, which made over 60 Winter COVID-19 emergency response team deployments available to states, and the COVID-19 Surge Response Teams the Administration mobilized over the summer and fall to fight the Delta surge.

Deploying Additional Medical Personnel

  • Mobilizing an Additional 1,000 Troops to Deploy to COVID-Burdened Hospitals: The President is directing Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to ready an additional 1,000 service members—military doctors, nurses, paramedics, and other medical personnel—to deploy to hospitals during January and February, as needed.
  • Deploying Federal Medical Personnel Available to States Immediately: The President is announcing that six emergency response teams—with more than 100 clinical personnel and paramedics—are deploying to six states now: Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Hampshire and Vermont. This is on top of the 300 federal medical personnel that we have deployed since we learned about Omicron.

Expanding Hospital Capacity

  • Activating FEMA Response Teams to Help States and Hospitals Add Capacity Now: The President is directing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to activate additional staffing and capacity for the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) and FEMA regions, and to mobilize planning teams to work with every state and territory to assess hospital needs ahead of winter surges, and to start expanding hospital bed capacity now—with the federal government paying for all of it. The Administration is also pre-positioning the federal government’s own supplies and resources to help make more beds available.
  • Providing Ongoing Support to States to Help Hospitals Create and License More Beds: FEMA has already provided states hundreds of millions of dollars to expand hospital capacity. This includes two new medical surge facilities in Shreveport, Louisiana, added beds for COVID-19 patients in Baltimore, Maryland, and expanded intensive care units and emergency departments in Fresno, California.
  • Deploying Hundreds of Ambulances and Emergency Medical Teams to Transport Patients to Open Beds: To get ahead of surges, FEMA is ready to deploy hundreds of ambulances and emergency medical teams so that if one hospital fills up, they can transport patients to open beds in other facilities. Just this week, 30 paramedics are heading to New Hampshire, 30 to Vermont, and 20 to Arizona, and 30 ambulances are headed to New York and 8 to Maine. The Administration is also continuing to provide 100 percent federal reimbursement to states for all COVID-19 emergency response costs.

Providing Critical Supplies

  • Pre-Positioning Critical Supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile: Thanks to the President’s leadership, the U.S. government has hundreds of millions of N-95 masks, billions of gloves, tens of millions of gowns, and over 100,000 ventilators in the Strategic National Stockpile—all ready to ship out if and when states need them. The Administration has pre-positioned these supplies in strategic locations across the United States so that we can send them to states that need them immediately.
  • Deploying Ventilators to States: HHS continues to expedite the deployment of ventilators to states. Just last week, the Administration sent 330 ventilators to states like Indiana, Michigan, Maine, and New Hampshire, with more planned deliveries on the way to states that are facing strains and need them.

Robust Access to Free Testing: The President will announce new actions to ensure Americans have access to free testing, including convenient, at-home tests. Since January 2021, the Administration has already taken significant actions to increase testing. As a result, there are now 20,000 free testing sites across the U.S., four times as many at-home tests available to Americans than were available this summer, and at-home tests being made available at key community sites, such as community health centers and rural clinics. Today’s steps build on this progress and further increase the availability of free and convenient testing options.

  • Standing up New Federal Testing Sites: Today, the President is announcing that new federal testing sites will be stood up around the country, helping states that need additional testing capacity. The first will be stood up in New York City this week.
  • Distributing Free, Rapid Tests to Americans: Today, the President is announcing his Administration will purchase a half-billion at-home, rapid tests this winter to be distributed for free to Americans who want them, with the initial delivery starting in January 2022. The Administration will stand up a website where Americans can go to get at-home tests delivered to their home—for free.
  • Utilizing the Defense Production Act to Further Accelerate Production: The President is pledging to continue using the Defense Production Act (DPA) and other authorities to make sure the U.S. is producing as many tests as quickly as possible. Through the President’s aggressive actions this summer, including use of the DPA, the Administration has already quadrupled the monthly supply of at-home, rapid tests in the U.S. The Administration will continue to use the DPA to accelerate production; just in the last week, the Administration used DPA to ensure that two testing manufacturers have the raw materials and equipment they need to produce as many tests as they can—enabling one company to double its production of lab-based tests, and another to rapidly to scale up production of new over-the-counter and point-of-care tests.

Expanding Capacity to Get Shots in Arms: President Biden will announce additional steps to ensure people can get vaccinated and boosted and get their kids vaccinated easily this winter. Over the fall, the Administration has added 10,000 more vaccination sites across the country where Americans can get their shots. There are now 90,000 convenient locations nationwide, with many sites offering walk-in appointments and vaccinations for the whole family.

  • Standing Up New Pop-Up Vaccination Clinics: The President will announce that FEMA is standing up new pop-up vaccination clinics across the country. This includes a new mobile unit in Washington, and four new mobile units across New Mexico that are opening today. FEMA will help stand up additional sites in areas of high demand over the coming weeks.
  • Deploying Additional Vaccinators: To further increase capacity, the Biden Administration is deploying hundreds of federal vaccinators across 12 states, Tribes and territories. Together, these vaccinators will help enable thousands of additional appointments over the next few weeks.
  • Allowing Flexibility to Surge Pharmacy Teams: In response to strong demand for vaccinations in communities across the country, the Administration will cut red tape to help surge pharmacy teams to places where there is higher demand. To do so, HHS will issue an amendment to the PREP Act Declaration allowing flexibility for pharmacists and pharmacy interns to administer a wider set of vaccinations across state lines.
  • Continuing to Scale Pharmacy Capacity: Nationwide, pharmacies are adding appointments and capacity across their network. Pharmacy partners have taken steps to surge capacity, including by hiring tens of additional clinical and operational staff nationwide. And, pharmacies are opening up hundreds of new vaccination sites for kids in January.

He offered remarks on December 21st, 2021, to announce the announced plan. The YouTube is 29 minutes and 42 seconds long. His full remarks can be found here.

On December 27th, 2021, President Biden joined the COVID-19 Response Team’s Regular Call With the National Governors Association. The YouTube is 8 minutes and 51 seconds long. His full remarks can be found here.

Apparently, this line from President Biden “there is no federal solution” sparked the usual suspects Twitter outrage…

I didn’t realize until yesterday there was any “outrage” over anything he said until I saw this posted…

The video clip is 4 minutes and 49 seconds long.

Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-AR): Thank you, Jeff.  And I want to thank all of the White House team for being such great support to the governors. And I want to thank, Mr. President — your address to the nation last week.  Thank you for your comments designed to de-politicize our COVID response.  I think that was helpful. 

Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) con’t: As we face Omicron, the governors and your administration must be working together more closely than ever.  I particularly appreciate your comments about increasing the supply chain on rapid COVID tests.  This has become a real challenge for the governors. And your task force, led by Jeff Zients, has been responsive and has kept us informed every step of the way.  A good example is this last week: I asked for more monoclonal antibody treatments; we received them last week.  Still, we have a limited supply, but the responsiveness is very much appreciated. 

Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) con’t: I would like to give you a glimpse of Arkansas today.  First, hospitalizations are down by half from where they were this time last year, but our Omicron case count and the demand for testing has increased.  In Arkansas, we have a test-to-stay school program that’s a pilot in 50 schools.  We want to expand that, and right now we have sufficient tests to be able to do that. But we also, as governors, are getting pressure to do more, and the need is great to do more in terms of the rapid tests and the availability of it.  And so, one word of concern or encouragement for your team is that as the — as you look towards federal solutions that will help alleviate the challenge, make sure that we do not let federal solutions stand in the way of state solutions. And the — the production of 500 million rapid tests that will be distributed by the federal government is great, but, obviously, that dries up the supply chain for the solutions that we might offer as governor. And so, just that brief comment before I turn it over to you, Mr. President. But I want to say, personally, I’ve enjoyed working with you when I was in Congress as head of the DEA.  And I appreciate your leadership.  And thank you so much for giving us the time today to hear from us, but also so that we can hear from you personally about the challenge that we face. So, Mr. President, the microphone is yours.  Thank you, President Biden.

President Biden: Asa — thank you very much, Asa.  Look, there is no federal solution.  This gets solved at a state level.  I’m looking at Governor Sununu on the board here.  He talks about that a lot. And then it ultimately gets down to where the rubber meets the road, and that’s where the patient is in need of help or preventing the need for help. Look, Gov, thank you for — for what you’re doing.  Thank you for the National Governors Association and Vice Chair Murphy across the river.  All’s well in New Jersey, I assume, Gov.  And —and here today, Democrats and Republicans. We’ve discussed the rising COVID cases, especially coming out of the holidays.  And as — as I said last week, Omicron is a source of concern, but it should not be a source of panic.  If you’re fully vaccinated and you get your booster shot, you’re highly protected.  If you’re unvaccinated, you’re at a high risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19, being hospitalized, and, in rare cases, even dying. And this is not like March of 2020, the beginning of the pandemic.  We’re prepared and we know what it takes to save lives, protect people, and keep schools and businesses open.  We just have to stay focused and continue to work together. 

President Biden con’t: My message to the governors is simple: If you need something, say something — and we — we’re going to have your back in any way we can. Last week, we took steps to bolster support for you with, number one, more capacity to get shots in arms, with more places, more vaccinators, more times for folks to get vaccinated or get a booster shot.  And we’ve added appointments for booster shots, adding hours, and getting more convenient to get a booster every day. The second thing we’re doing is more testing.  Seeing how tough it was for some folks to get a test this weekend shows that we have more work to do, and we’re doing it. First, let’s talk about how we got here.  When I took office 10 months into — we were 10 months into the pandemic and, even so, we had no — zero — over-the-counter home tests in the United States.  None.  And if you — and if you wanted to get one — to get a test, you had to go to a clinic or a drugstore to have someone give you the test.  And that was — there were very few places to go. 

Last week Moderna said; preliminary neutralizing antibody data against the Omicron variant following the Company’s booster candidates at 50 µg and 100 µg dose levels. The currently authorized 50 µg booster of mRNA-1273 increased neutralizing antibody levelsagainst Omicron approximately 37-fold compared to pre-boost levels and a 100 µg dose of mRNA-1273 increased neutralizing antibody levelsapproximately 83-fold compared to pre-boost levels.

Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna offered the following statement:

The dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant is concerning to all. However, these data showing that the currently authorized Moderna COVID-19 booster can boost neutralizing antibody levels 37-fold higher than pre-boost levels are reassuring. To respond to this highly transmissible variant, Moderna will continue to rapidly advance an Omicron-specific booster candidate into clinical testing in case it becomes necessary in the future. We will also continue to generate and share data across our booster strategies with public health authorities to help them make evidence-based decisions on the best vaccination strategies against SARS-CoV-2 12/20/2021.

If I’m reading the statement correctly it appears Moderna’s study was conducted on 20 people with low antibodies…

I got no idea why but I read the above and this popped into my head first…

His full statement:

Harry Reid and I grew up on different sides of the country, but we came from the same place where certain values run deep. Loyalty. Faith. Resolve. Service.

During the two decades we served together in the United States Senate, and the eight years we worked together while I served as Vice President, Harry met the marker for what I’ve always believed is the most important thing by which you can measure a person—their action and their word.

If Harry said he would do something, he did it. If he gave you his word, you could bank on it. That’s how he got things done for the good of the country for decades.

Under his watch as Senate Majority Leader, Harry helped pass the Recovery Act to prevent another Great Depression. He helped rescue the American auto industry. He helped pass the Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform, ended Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and ratified the New Start Treaty.

Throughout his entire career in the Senate, he led battles over budgets, fought to give our troops what they needed in battle and what they earned and deserved upon their return home. He was a bulwark against efforts to privatize Social Security. He was the champion who created Nevada’s Great Basin National Park. And, he was a leader who believed the Federal bench should reflect the diversity of America.

I’ve had the honor of serving with some of the all-time great Senate Majority Leaders in our history. Harry Reid was one of them. And for Harry, it wasn’t about power for power’s sake. It was about the power to do right for the people.

A son of Searchlight, Nevada, Harry never forgot his humble roots. A boxer, he never gave up a fight—whether in politics or even against cancer. A great American, Harry looked at the challenges of the world and believed it was within our capacity to do good, to do right, and to do our part of perfecting the Union we all love.

But above all, Harry was first and foremost the devoted husband to his dear Landra. Over six decades together, they built a remarkable family with their children—Lana, Rory, Leif, Josh, and Key—and all of their grandchildren and great-grandchild. Jill and I send our love and prayers to Landra and the entire Reid family.

May God bless Harry Reid, a dear friend and a giant of our history.

White 12/28/2021.

Vice President Harris released the following statement:

Our country has lost an honorable public servant. Harry Reid rose through the ranks in Washington, becoming Senate Majority Leader, but he never forgot his humble beginnings in Searchlight, Nevada – and he always fought for working families and the poor. Leader Reid also got things done: from expanding access to healthcare through the Affordable Care Act, to getting economic relief to families and businesses through the Recovery Act, and much more, he made a meaningful difference in people’s lives. 

Whenever we had a chance to speak, Leader Reid was kind, generous, and always to the point. Tonight, Landra and the entire Reid family are in our thoughts.

White 12/28/2021.

Shortly before the announcement of Reid’s death the NFL announced that NFL legend John Madden had passed away at 85 years of age.

May they both Rest in Peace.

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