Biden Bits: I’m Taking Two New Steps…

Biden Tweets Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

It’s Thursday.

When Biden Bits was posted for Wednesday, President Biden had not tweeted. He ended up with a Wednesday Tweeting Total of 6 tweets and 1 retweet.

The YouTube is 5 minutes and 26 seconds long. His full remarks can be found here.

The White House posted the following readout:

On May 18, President Biden met with leaders of his Federal emergency preparedness and response team to receive the annual briefing on the Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook and to review progress on his directive to enhance equity and access to Federal disaster support and resources. He was briefed by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell, Administrator of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Richard Spinrad, Director of the National Hurricane Center Kenneth Graham, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge, Small Business Administrator Isabella Guzman, U.S. Coast Guard Vice Commandant Admiral Linda Fagan, and Homeland Security Advisor Dr. Liz Sherwood-Randall.

The President was briefed on the projected hurricane activity for the upcoming season and how lessons learned from past years have improved accuracy in analysis and forecasting.  Following this overview, the President had the opportunity to discuss the actions that FEMA, the Small Business Administration, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have taken to ensure more equitable outcomes for underserved communities following a disaster.

The President also met with the brave men and women who fly into hurricanes and perform high-risk missions to provide early warning and real time analysis of severe storms in order to save American lives.  He toured the aircraft with specialized technologies that are used to predict hurricane tracks and spoke with U.S. Coast Guard members who conduct search and rescue missions during hurricanes and other extreme weather events.

White House.gov. 05/18/2022.

His full statement:

I warmly welcome and strongly support the historic applications from Finland and Sweden for membership in NATO and look forward to working with the U.S. Congress and our NATO Allies to quickly bring Finland and Sweden into the strongest defensive alliance in history.

Sweden and Finland have made the important decision to seek NATO membership after thorough and inclusive democratic processes in each country. NATO guarantees the security of one billion people in Europe and North America—united by our shared commitment to democratic principles and our vision of peace and prosperity in Europe and around the world. And my commitment to NATO and Article 5 is ironclad. 

Finland and Sweden are longtime, stalwart partners of the United States. By joining NATO, they will further strengthen our defense cooperation and benefit the entire Transatlantic Alliance. Together with our NATO Allies, the United States will maintain its robust exercise activity and presence in the Baltic Sea region. While their applications for NATO membership are being considered, the United States will work with Finland and Sweden to remain vigilant against any threats to our shared security, and to deter and confront aggression or the threat of aggression.

I look forward to welcoming President of Finland Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson to Washington tomorrow so that we can further consult on their NATO applications and European security.

White House.gov. 05/18/2022.

The video clip is 1 minute and 22 seconds long.

President Biden: I know parents all across the country are worried about finding enough infant formula to feed their babies. As a parent and as a grandparent, I know just how stressful that is. I want to provide a few updates on our work to get more formula into the United States and onto store shelves so it’s available to you.

President Biden con’t: Today, I’m invoking what they call the Defense Protection Act to ensure that manufacturers have the necessary ingredients to make safe, healthy infant formula here at home. The Defense Protection Act gives the government the ability to require suppliers to direct needed resources to infant formula manufacturers before any other customer who may have ordered that good.

President Biden con’t: I’m also announcing Operation Fly Formula. That’s to be able to speed up the import of infant formula and start getting more formula in stores as soon as possible. I’ve directed the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services to send aircraft planes overseas to pick up infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards, so we can get it on the store shelves faster.

President Biden con’t: And I’ve directed my team to do everything possible to ensure there’s enough safe baby formula and that it’s quickly reaching the families that need it most. This is one of my top priorities. And I’ll continue to keep you updated on our progress.

The White House posted the Following fact-sheet; President Biden Announces New Actions to Address Infant Formula Shortage

During the infant formula shortage caused by Abbott Nutrition’s voluntary recall, the President has directed his team to do everything possible to ensure that there is enough safe infant formula in the country and available for families that need it.

Today, President Biden is announcing additional actions to get more formula into the United States and onto store shelves.

White House.gov. 05/18/2022.
  • Invoking the Defense Production Act. To ensure that manufacturers have the necessary ingredients to make safe, healthy infant formula here at home, President Biden is invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA). The President is requiring suppliers to direct needed resources to infant formula manufacturers before any other customer who may have ordered that good. Directing firms to prioritize and allocate the production of key infant formula inputs will help increase production and speed up in supply chains.
  • Launching Operation Fly Formula. To speed up the import of infant formula and get more formula to stores as soon as possible, President Biden has directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to use Department of Defense (DOD) commercial aircraft to pick up overseas infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards, so it can get to store shelves faster. DOD will use its contracts with commercial air cargo lines, as it did to move materials during the early months of the COVID pandemic, to transport products from manufacturing facilities abroad that have met Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety standards. Bypassing regular air freighting routes will speed up the importation and distribution of formula and serve as an immediate support as manufacturers continue to ramp up production.

Earlier this week, FDA and Abbott agreed on next steps to reopen Abbott’s facility in Sturgis, Michigan, which was closed due to concerns about bacterial contamination after four infants fell ill. FDA also announced guidance that will allow major formula manufacturers to safely import formula that is not currently being produced for the U.S. market. The Administration continues to urge states to cut red tape and implement WIC flexibility, as USDA wrote to states in a letter last week. The Administration remains in close touch with manufacturers and retailers to identify transportation and logistical needs to increase the amount and speed of FDA approved formula being shipped into the country, and ensure that formula is quickly moving from factories to retailers.

Today’s steps further underscore the Administration’s commitment to addressing the formula shortage quickly and safely, and the Administration will continue working overtime to get more formula to stores as soon as possible.

White House.gov. 05/18/2022.

The White House posted the following letter from President Biden to; Secretary Xavier Becerra and Secretary Thomas Vilsack on Addressing Infant Formula Shortage

Dear Secretary Becerra and Secretary Vilsack,

The Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have taken significant action over the last several months to boost the production and availability of infant formula after the voluntary recall and subsequent shutdown of one of the largest infant formula production facilities in the country in February.  This shutdown was needed to ensure the highest safety standards were being met but resulted in a decline in production of formula that American families rely on.  Your departments have worked closely with manufacturers to help them increase formula production and availability, which resulted in more formula produced in April than before the recall.  By working with States and retailers to create flexibilities around the types of formula WIC recipients can purchase, we are helping all families access the formula they need.

This week, the FDA reached an agreement with Abbott, the formula manufacturer whose product was pulled from shelves.  This agreement will enable Abbott to restart production safely so more infant formula will be produced and distributed over the coming weeks and months.  The FDA also announced an expedited process for manufacturers who do not normally sell infant formula in the United States to begin to sell it here safely and efficiently.  This additional, high-quality formula should begin to hit shelves within weeks.

Imports of baby formula will serve as a bridge to this ramped up production, therefore, I am requesting you take all appropriate measures available to get additional safe formula into the country immediately.

Specifically, I request that you work expeditiously to identify any and all avenues to speed the importation of safe infant formula into the United States and onto store shelves.  I further request that over the next week you work with the Department of Defense to utilize contracted aircraft to accelerate the arrival of infant formula into the United States that meets our Government’s health and safety standards.  This will ensure that we are using every available tool to get American families swifter access to the infant formula they need.

White House.gov. 05/18/2022.

The White House posted a Memorandum; on the Delegation of Authority Under the Defense Production Act to Ensure an Adequate Supply of Infant Formula it can be found here.

On Tuesday, President Biden traveled to Buffalo, New York, to meet with the families of those lost in a mass shooting that took place on Saturday. The YouTube of his remarks is 18 minutes and 51 seconds long. The transcript of his remarks can be found here.

The video snip of his remarks is 1 minute and 6 seconds long.

President Biden: What happened here is simple and straightforward: terrorism.  Terrorism.  Domestic terrorism.  Violence inflicted in the service of hate and a vicious thirst for power that defines one group of people being inherently inferior to any other group. A hate that through the media and politics, the Internet, has radicalized angry, alienated, lost, and isolated individuals into falsely believing that they will be replaced — that’s the word, “replaced” — by the “other” — by people who don’t look like them and who are therefore, in a perverse ideology that they possess and being fed, lesser beings. I and all of you reject the lie.  I call on all Americans to reject the lie.  And I condemn those who spread the lie for power, political gain, and for profit.  (Applause.)  Because that’s what it is. 

Their full statement can be found here.

For Thursday, May 19th, 2022, President Biden has received his daily brief. He had early meetings with the Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson and the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö. Tonight, President Biden will depart D.C., for Seoul, South Korea.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan previewed both the meeting and up coming trip in Wednesday’s press briefing.

Jake Sullivan on Finland and Sweden: Tomorrow morning, the President will welcome the President of Finland and the Prime Minister of Sweden to the White House to coordinate on the path forward.  And the three leaders will also have the chance to compare notes on our united efforts to support Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s brutal invasion. They will also have the opportunity to speak to the press and the public to affirm our shared vision for a peaceful and secure Euro-Atlantic region. This is a historic event, a watershed moment in European security.  Two nations with a long tradition of neutrality will be joining the world’s most powerful defensive alliance.  And they will bring with them strong capabilities and a proven track record as security partners.  And President Biden will have the opportunity to mark just what a historic and watershed moment this is when he meets with them tomorrow. After that meeting concludes, President Biden will board Air Force One for a trip to the Republic of Korea and Japan.  This will be his first trip as President to the Indo-Pacific.  And it comes at a pivotal moment.

Jake Sullivan previews President Biden’s trip:

President Biden has rallied the free world in defense of Ukraine and in opposition to Russian aggression.  He remains focused on ensuring that our efforts in those missions are successful.  But he also intends to seize this moment — this pivotal moment — to assert bold and confident American leadership in another vital region of the world: the Indo-Pacific.

That began last week with his hosting of the U.S.-ASEAN Summit here at the White House, where he welcomed nine leaders from Southeast Asia for a substantive set of meetings that covered a diverse agenda from economics and security to technology and energy.

President Biden made a series of significant announcements to show that when it comes to engagement with ASEAN, we’re not just talking the talk, we’re walking the walk as well.

This week, the President turns his attention to Northeast Asia.  And on this trip, he’ll have the opportunity to reaffirm and reinforce two vital security alliances, to deepen two vibrant economic partnerships, to work with two fellow democracies to shape the rules of the road for the 21st century, and to thank his allies in Korea and Japan for their remarkable and in some ways unexpected contributions to the effort to support Ukraine and to hold Russia accountable.

In Korea, President Biden will meet with the newly inaug- — excuse me — the newly inaugurated Korean President, President Yoon, who campaigned on the platform of strengthening the U.S.-ROK alliance and on improving relations between the ROK and Japan.

President Biden will engage with technology and manufacturing leaders in Korea who are mobilizing billions of dollars in investment here in the United States to create thousands of good-paying American jobs.

He will see American and Korean troops standing shoulder to shoulder in defense of our collective security and consult on the challenge posed by the DPRK’s nuclear and missile programs.

And he will highlight the truly global nature of the U.S.-ROK alliance, from climate and energy and technology to economic growth and investment.

In Japan, President Biden will meet with Prime Minister Kishida and his team.  And we believe that the U.S.-Japan alliance, at this moment, under these two leaders, is at an all-time high.  This visit can take us even higher.

The two leaders will consult on the broad and deep economic relationship between our two countries, as well as on a range of regional and global security issues.  We’ll also cover the DPRK as well as a number of other security issues both in the Indo-Pacific and more broadly around the world.

The U.S.-Japan alliance is the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific, and Japan’s contributions as a security partner are rightly growing as the regional security picture becomes more challenging and dynamic.

President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida will also be able to compare notes on the G7 agenda as the G7 Summit approaches next month in Germany.

In Japan, President Biden won’t just have a bilateral program, he’ll also have the opportunity to participate in the second in-person Quad Summit, following on the summit he hosted here in Washington last September.

He will do this alongside the Prime Minister of Japan, the Prime Minister of India, and the Prime Minister of Australia.  And we believe that this summit will demonstrate, both in substance and in vision, that democracies can deliver and that these four nations working together will defend and uphold the principles of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

While he’s in Tokyo, President Biden will also launch a new, ambitious economic initiative for the region: the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.  “IPEF,” as we affectionately call it, is a 21st century economic arrangement, a new model designed to tackle new economic challenges — from setting the rules of the digital economy, to ensuring secure and resilient supply chains, to managing the energy transition, to investing in clean, modern, high-standards infrastructure.

President Biden will be joined in person by the Prime Minister of Japan for the launch of IPEF and virtually by leaders from a number of Indo-Pacific partners, from Down Under to Southeast Asia to Northeast Asia.

On security and economics, on technology and energy, on investment in infrastructure, we think this trip is going to put on full display President Biden’s Indo-Pacific strategy and that it will show, in living color, that the United States can at once lead the free world in responding to Russia’s war in Ukraine and at the same time chart a course for effective, principled American leadership and engagement in a region that will define much of the future of the 21st century.

White House.gov. 05/18/2022.

President Biden has tweeted 2 times so far.

I have waited and waited for him to tweet one more time regarding the unemployment numbers released today. Since he’s already released a statement.

His full statement:

America is back to work.  The number of Americans who are forced to rely on unemployment insurance programs for their support fell to its lowest level in over 52 years. When I took office, there were nearly 20 million Americans on unemployment insurance to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads. Today, that number is about 1.3 million. That’s millions of families moving from government support to earning a paycheck. 

Today, the percentage of people receiving unemployment insurance fell below 1 percent for the first time since 1969. This historic progress is the result of my economic plan to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out.

Now, tackling inflation is my top economic priority. My plan to tackle inflation is to lower the costs that families face and lower the federal deficit, and we make progress on this every day.  The federal budget deficit has already fallen by $1.5 trillion this year, and I have proposed a plan to reduce it even more by ensuring large corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes.  Congressional Republicans have a different approach – their plan would raise taxes on working families, and jeopardize programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act.

White House.gov. 05/19/2022.

And I’m still waiting…

The daily press briefing will happen on Air Force One. It’s scheduled for 3:30 p.m. D.C., time. It will be audio only.

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About Tiff 2617 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.

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