Biden Bits: We Just Have to Stay Focused…

Biden Tweets Christmas Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

It’s Wednesday.

For Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021, President Biden will meet with his Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force and Private sector CEO’s to receive an update on the getting goods moving, keeping shelves stocked, and lowering prices for Americans.

This morning the White House published the following fact-sheet on the; Biden-Harris Administration Efforts to Tackle Prices for Americans:

The American economy has delivered stronger growth in President Biden’s first year of office than any other president in the last 50 years. Since Day 1, President Biden has been laser-focused on reopening the economy and has taken aggressive action to lower the price of goods and gasoline for Americans.

The President’s Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force has made significant progress to alleviate bottlenecks that are rooted in the global pandemic, and today the President will convene members of his Cabinet and private sector CEOs for an update.

White 12/22/2021.
  • Moving record amounts of goods to keep shelves stocked: Due to record demand, our nation’s ports are moving more goods than ever before. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach—which handle 40% of the nation’s containerized imports—moved 15% more containers between January and November this year than 2018, the previous record. That’s why the President convened our largest ports and retailers to move towards 24/7 operations to help alleviate bottlenecks in our global supply chain and ensure the smooth delivery of goods for businesses large and small. Retailers are confirming shelves are stocked and they are prepared for a robust holiday season.

The Administration also continues to closely watch how the Omicron variant could compound global supply chain disruptions at Asian or U.S. ports, and is working with ports around the world to prioritize critical medical supplies and PPE.

White 12/22/2021.
  • Cracking down on delays and shining a light on profiteering: When cargo sit on docks for extended periods, bottlenecks worsen, goods can’t make it to stores, and prices can rise for consumers. That’s why the Administration worked with the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in early November to impose a fee on ocean carriers if their cargo sits on docks for over eight days. Since then, the number of containers sitting on the docks for over eight days has fallen by nearly 50% and the average amount of time containers sit on docks has fallen by a week. The price of shipping a container between Asia and the West Coast has fallen by more than 25% since its peak in September. Nevertheless, the price of shipping remains elevated and, as the ocean carriers report profits 9 times larger than a year ago, the President looks forward to working with Congress on bipartisan legislation to strengthen the Federal Maritime Commission.
  • Launching the Port Action and Trucking Action Plans: This week, the Administration is announcing $230 million in Port Infrastructure Development Grants—the only federal grant program wholly dedicated to investments in port infrastructure. This is the latest step in the Port Action Plan (PAP) announced in November, which accelerates investments in our ports, waterways, and freight networks after passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal. The PAP helped the Port of Savannah launch three “pop-up” container yards to reduce congestion and includes $12.6 million for marine highway projects and over $50 billion in highway funding that can be used to modernize freight corridors. This builds on investments in port and freight infrastructure communities have made using the American Rescue Plan such as Florida’s $250 million investment in ports.
  • Taking bold action to reduce gasoline prices: Last month, the President authorized the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to make 50 million barrels of crude oil available to increase global oil supplies. The Administration also engaged with Japan, South Korea, India, and the United Kingdom, each of whom acted in parallel to boost supplies, as well as with OPEC+ members who maintained their schedule for increasing production levels heading into January. These actions have helped contribute to falling prices at the pump.

Last week, the Administration announced its Trucking Action Plan (TAP) to recruit and retain more truckers by improving job quality. The TAP will help states reduce their commercial drivers license backlogs, kick off a 90-day challenge to expand Registered Apprenticeships with the private sector, step up the recruitment of veterans, and launch a Driving Good Jobs Initiative to address issues that hurt retention such as unpaid wait times.  The average price at the pump is down 12 cents per gallon since the peak last month, and prices are continuing to fall.  

White 12/22/2021.
White 12/22/2021.

The average price at the pump is now $3.30. This price is in line with the real price of gasoline over the previous ten years from 2011-2020. While current price levels aren’t unprecedented, the President believes that they are too high especially given that we are emerging from a once-in-a-century pandemic.

White 12/22/2021.
White 12/22/2021.

Right now, twenty-one states have state-level averages below $3.15.  That puts those states below both the 10-year real average of $3.30 per gallon and also below the 20-year real average of $3.18 per gallon. That number is increasing week by week, with only 11 states below that $3.15 threshold a month ago.

White 12/22/2021.
White 12/22/2021.

The White House has not uploaded the Supply Chain briefing.

Yahoo Finance has a video; it’s cued to when President Biden begins to speak. Which is around the 16 minute and 45-ish mark of the 41 minute and 45 second YouTube.

President Biden has tweeted 4 times so far for Wednesday…

I’ll be sharing 2 below with Tuesday’s tweets…

Wednesday’s 3rd & 4th Tweet: 

His full statement:

I made a promise to do everything in my power to ensure that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care — because I believe that health care is a right, not a privilege.

As 2021 draws to a close, I am proud to say that more than 4.6 million Americans have gained health coverage through the Affordable Care Act since I took office. From November 1st to December 15th alone, more than 13.6 million Americans signed up for coverage through and the state-based marketplaces — an all-time high. That includes 1.8 million new enrollees, a significant accomplishment that builds on the success of our earlier Special Enrollment Period. Americans who haven’t yet renewed their coverage or shopped for a plan can still visit through January 15th to sign up.

This record enrollment is a product not only of expanded access, but of the actions my Administration has taken to lower the cost of health coverage. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we’ve made quality coverage through the ACA more affordable than ever — with families saving an average of $2,400 on their annual premiums, and four out of five consumers finding quality coverage for under $10 a month.

But as long as there are Americans who still lie awake at night, wondering how they’re going to make it if an accident or illness hits home, we know we still have work to do. As we keep up our fight against the pandemic, it is more important than ever that we continue to expand coverage and lower costs. My Build Back Better Act would do just that — reducing premiums for more than nine million Americans, covering four million Americans in states that have failed to expand Medicaid, expanding Medicare to include hearing coverage, lowering prescription drug costs, and bringing down the price of insulin to no more than $35 for a month’s supply.

My Build Back Better Act represents the single most consequential expansion of affordable health care since the Affordable Care Act a decade ago. We will press forward on passing Build Back Better, work to cut health care costs, and deliver greater peace of mind to American families in the new year.

White 12/22/2021.

When Biden Bits was published for Tuesday, President Biden had tweeted 2 times. He added 7 tweets giving him a Tuesday Tweeting Total of 9 tweets and 0 retweets.

The below YouTube is 29 minutes and 42 seconds long. His full remarks can be found here.

President Biden: So starting this week, I’ll be deploying hundreds more vaccinators and more sites to help get the booster shots in people’s arms. I’ve ordered FEMA — the Federal Emergency Management Agency –- to stand up new pop-up vaccination clinics all across the country where you can get that booster shot.

President Biden: We also need to do better with at-home testing.  So, I’m announcing today: The federal government will purchase one half billion — that’s not million; billion with a “B” — additional at-home rapid tests, with deliveries starting in January. We’ll be getting these tests to Americans for free.  And we’ll have websites where you can get them delivered to your home. 

President Biden: Another question that folks are asking is: Are we going back to March 2020 — not this last March 2021, but March 2020 — when the pandemic first hit?  That’s what I keep getting asked. The answer is absolutely no.  No. Here are three big differences between then and now: One — number one — the first one — more than 200 million Americans have been fully vaccinated.  In March of 2020, no one was fully vaccinated.  What that means is, today, as cases — a case of COVID-19 for a fully vaccinated and boosted person will most likely mean no symptoms or mild ones similar to the common respiratory viruses.

President Biden: Starting this week, the federal government will set up emergency testing sites in areas that need additional testing capacity. Before Christmas, the first several of these federal testing sites will be up and running in New York City with many more to come.

President Biden: All these people who have not been vaccinated, you have an obligation to yourselves, to your family, and, quite frankly — I know I’ll get criticized for this — to your country. Get vaccinated now.  It’s free.  It’s convenient.  I promise you, it saves lives.  And I, honest to God, believe it’s your patriotic duty.

The video clip is 34 seconds long, filmed just after his Tuesday remarks…

President Biden: I just announced some very good news. I’ve arranged to purchase a half a billion–a half billion testing kits for at-home testing so you can know whether or not you’ve been exposed, whether you have an element of the virus, because Omicron spreads so easily. And so the most important thing is, these tests you can get at home and they’re going to be free, but in the meantime get vaccinated. Get vaccinated, get the booster shot. It’s the single best protection. Period.

Wednesday’s 1st Tweet:

President Biden: That’s why my administration has stockpiled and pre-positioned millions of gowns, gloves, masks, and ventilators.  We used to call it PPP [PPE].  We’re ready to send them immediately to any state that needs more. In addition, I have directed the Pentagon to mobilize an additional 1,000 troops to be deployed to help staff local hospitals and expand capacity.  That’s 1,000 military doctors, nurses, and medics.  We’ve already started moving — military — excuse me, medical teams.  They’ve already landed in Wisconsin and Indiana this week.

Wednesday’s 2nd Tweet:

 President Biden: Look, while we know staffing is the biggest need for our hospitals, some may need more beds as well.  We’re prepared.  I’ve directed FEMA to activate the National Response Center and begin deploying teams now to provide additional hospital beds.  We’ll begin to construct emergency capacity near hospitals, in parking garages, and nearby buildings to be ready if needed.

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

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Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.