Biden Bits: “Stands Strong”…

Biden Tweets Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

It’s Wednesday…

President Biden’s public schedule for 07/12/2023:

2:00 AM
Pool Call Time
Out-of-Town Pool Call Time (9:00 AM Local)
Kempinski Hotel, Vilnius, Lithuania Out-of-Town Pool
2:00 AM
Press Briefing
Press Gaggle by NSC Senior Director for Europe Amanda Sloat (9:00 AM Local)
Lithuanian Exhibition and Conference Center (LITEXPO), Vilnius, Lithuania (8:30 AM Local)Open Press
3:15 AM
NATO Meeting
The President attends the Meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Heads of State and Government, with Sweden, Indo-Pacific Partners, and the EU (10:15 AM Local)
Lithuanian Exhibition and Conference Center (LITEXPO), Vilnius, Lithuania Restricted Out-of-Town Pool Spray
6:00 AM
NATO Meeting
The President attends the Meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council at the level of Heads of State and Government, with Sweden (1:00 PM Local)
Lithuanian Exhibition and Conference Center (LITEXPO), Vilnius, Lithuania Restricted Out-of-Town Pool Spray
8:10 AM
Family Photo G7 Leaders
The President participates in a family photo with G7 leaders (3:10 PM Local)
Lithuanian Exhibition and Conference Center (LITEXPO), Vilnius, Lithuania Out-of-Town Pool
8:45 AM
Bilateral Meeting
The President participates in a bilateral meeting with President Volodomyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine (3:45 PM Local)
Lithuanian Exhibition and Conference Center (LITEXPO), Vilnius, Lithuania Out-of-Town Pool Spray
12:45 PM
Remarks
The President delivers remarks highlighting how the United States, alongside our allies and partners, are supporting Ukraine, defending democratic values, and taking action to address global challenges (7:45 PM Local)
Vilnius University, Lithuania Open Press
2:10 PM
Leaves Lithuania
The President departs Vilnius, Lithuania en route to Helsinki, Finland (9:10 PM Local)
Vilnius International Airport, Lithuania Out-of-Town Pool
3:25 PM
Arrives in Finland
The President arrives in Helsinki, Finland (10:25 PM Local)
Helsinki Airport, Vantaa, Finland Out-of-Town Pool

The White House has posted a transcript of the teleconference press gaggle.

President Biden Delivers Remarks Highlighting How the United States is Supporting Ukraine (12:45 p.m. D.C., time):


NATO/G7 Tweets

From Tuesday…

From Wednesday…

The YouTube is 1 hour and 37 minutes. The leaders offer remarks at the 1 hour and 28 minute mark.

The White House posted their full remarks:

PRIME MINISTER KISHIDA:  (As interpreted.)  I am pleased to be able to announce the Joint Declaration on Support for Ukraine today.

At the G7 Hiroshima Summit, by engaging in discussions that included a wide range of invited countries, we agreed that unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion are unacceptable anywhere in the world and to safeguard a free and open international order based on the rule of law.

I feel that it is truly meaningful that we, the G7 leaders, and Volodymyr have gathered once again today.

Going forward, this declaration will be open to any country that shares the intention to support Ukraine.  I hope many countries will choose to join.

The G7 will continue to stand by Ukraine.  Our solidarity will never waver.

Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Let me start off by saying something that I hadn’t planned on saying.  You know, I think there are very few people in Europe or in the continental United States, in the North American continent, that thought this man would stand up and come to the aid and assistance of Ukraine.  He increased his military budget.  He stepped up — Japan — Japan — because he understood that when any part of the world has 185,000 people, soldiers crossing a border, stealing sovereignty from another nation, that it affects the whole world.

I want to thank you again publicly.  (Applause.)

We’ve just concluded the first meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council and — where all our Allies agreed Ukraine’s future lies with NATO.  That’s not a surprise to any of us, I don’t think.  I hope it’s not a surprise to you, Mr. President.

Allies all agreed to lift the requirements for Membership Action Plan for Ukraine and to create a path to NATO membership while Ukraine continues to make progress on necessary reforms. 

But we’re not waiting for that process to be finished to make the long-term commitments that we’re making to Ukraine’s security.  Volodymyr and I, we — the — I shouldn’t be so familiar — Mr. Zelenskyy and I talked about the kind of guarantees we could make in the meantime when I was in Ukraine and when we met in other places.

And so, today, the long-term commitments we’re making are — are backed up by the notion that in the meantime we’re going to provide security to Ukraine for its needs and against any aggression that may occur. 

Today, the members of the G7 are launching a Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine to make it clear that our support will last long into the future. 

This starts a process by which each of our nations and any other nation who wishes to participate will negotiate long-term bilateral security commitments with and to Ukraine. 

We’re going to help Ukraine build a strong, capable defense across land, air, and sea from which we will force the — it will be a force of stability in the region and deter against any and all threats. 

I want to thank my fellow G7 leaders and President Zelenskyy for their work to make this happen.  I think it’s a powerful statement — a powerful statement of our commitment to Ukraine as it defends its freedom today and as it rebuilds the future for — and we’re going to be there as long as that takes. 

And, again, I thank all my colleagues for their support for this.  (Applause.)  

PRESIDENT ZELENSKYY:  Thank you very much, Mr. President.

President Biden; Prime Minister Kishida; Chancellor — I don’t see — I see you — Chancellor Scholz; Prime Minister Sunak; President Macron; Prime Minister Trudeau; Prime Minister Meloni; President Michel; President von der Leyen: A great honor to be here. 

The outcome of the NATO Summit in Vilnius is very much needed and meaningful success for Ukraine.  And I am grateful to all leaders in NATO countries for very practical and unprecedented support considering decades of our relations’ support for Ukraine.

Today, there are security guarantees for Ukraine on the way to NATO — an important package of security guarantees.

Today, we are coordinating with the G7 countries the framework for security guarantee that shall be further extended through arrangements with our key partners, bilateral and multilateral agreements. 

And Ukrainian delegation is bringing home significant security victory for the Ukraine, for our country, for our people, for our children.  It opens for us absolutely new security opportunities, and I thank everyone who made it possible.  Thank you, dear colleagues.  Thanks, you — thanks, Lithuanian, and Jens Stoltenberg.  Thank you very much.

Slava Ukraini.  (Applause.)

White House.gov. 07/12/2023.

From the White House…

Remarks by President Biden and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the Republic of Turkey Before Bilateral Meeting | Vilnius, Lithuania

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Mr. President, it’s good to see you again — delighted to be with you.  And, you know, we’re at this historic summit meeting.  We’re resolving a lot of things, I hope. And you made — you made all the more historic by the agreement you reached yesterday in the admission of Sweden and how you’re going to proceed. 

I want to thank you for your diplomacy and your courage to take that on.  And I want to thank you for your leadership, Mr. President. This summit is reaffirming our commitment to NATO defense with close Allies in NATO, and I hope we can make it even stronger.  So, welcome.
 
PRESIDENT ERDOĞAN:  (As interpreted.)  Mr. President, my dear friend, I would like to, first of all, thank you for congratulating me in the aftermath of my reelection to my current post.  And I’m grateful for the congratulatory messages that you have extended to me.

And within the framework of our strategic mechanism, I think it’s high time for the heads of states to get together for further consultations.  That’s why I believe today’s meeting with you within the margin of the NATO Summit is the first step forward.

Our meetings prior to this were mere warmups, but now we are initiating a new process.  This new process is a process of five years. 

And now you are getting prepared for the forthcoming elections.  And with the forthcoming elections, I would like to take this opportunity to also wish you the best of luck.

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Thank you very much. 

PRESIDENT ERDOĞAN:  Thank you.

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  And we look forward to meeting with you the next five years.  (Laughter.)

White House.gov. 07/11/2023.

Readout of President Joe Biden’s Meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Türkiye

President Joe Biden met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Türkiye at the NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.  President Biden congratulated President Erdoğan on the agreement he reached with Swedish Prime Minister Kristersson and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg to send Sweden’s NATO accession protocol to parliament for ratification. The Presidents discussed efforts to strengthen bilateral cooperation, welcoming the latest round of discussions in the strategic mechanism and exchanging views on defense and economic priorities. They also discussed regional issues of shared interest, including their enduring support for Ukraine and the importance of preserving stability in the Aegean.

White House.gov. 07/11/2023.

Junk Fee Tweet

From Tuesday…

From the White House; FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces New Actions to Lower Health Care Costs and Protect Consumers from Scam Insurance Plans and Junk Fees as Part of “Bidenomics” Push (07/07/2023).


Vermont Emergency Declaration Tweet

From Tuesday…

Show more =’s ground, and mobilized FEMA and other federal personnel to provide swift support.

The White House posted the following; President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves Vermont Emergency Declaration (07/11/2023)

This morning, while in Vilnius, Lithuania, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. declared that an emergency exists in the State of Vermont and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions in the areas affected by flooding beginning on July 9, 2023, and continuing.

The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, Windham, and Windsor.

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.  Emergency protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance and reimbursement for mass care, including evacuation and sheltering support, will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding. 

Mr. William F. Roy of FEMA has been appointed to coordinate Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION MEDIA SHOULD CONTACT THE FEMA NEWS DESK AT (202) 646-3272 OR FEMA-NEWS-DESK@FEMA.DHS.GOV.

White House.gov. 07/11/2023.

Fentanyl Epidemic Tweet

From Tuesday…

The White House posted the following; FACT SHEET: In Continued Fight Against Overdose Epidemic, the White House Releases National Response Plan to Address the Emerging Threat of Fentanyl Combined with Xylazine (06/11/2023)

Earlier this year, Biden-Harris Administration used executive designation authority for the first time to declare xylazine combined with fentanyl as an emerging threat to the United States

 WASHINGTON, DC – Today, in the continued efforts to fight the dangerous and deadly combination of xylazine mixed with fentanyl, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released a National Response Plan to coordinate a whole-of-government response against this threat. Earlier this spring, ONDCP Director Dr. Gupta used an executive designation authority to designate fentanyl combined with xylazine as an emerging threat to the United States and proactively address this dangerous threat head-on.

“Since we announced the emerging drug threat earlier this year, we’ve been working tirelessly to create the best plan of attack to address this dangerous and deadly substance head-on,” said Dr. Gupta. “Now, with this National Response Plan, we are launching coordinated efforts across all of government to ensure we are using every lever we have to protect public health and public safety, and save lives. As a doctor, I have seen the devastating consequences of xylazine combined with fentanyl firsthand. And as President Biden’s drug policy advisor, I am laser-focused on finding every tool we have and following the best evidence-based practices to take on this new challenge. This will be an all-hands-on-deck effort – but I am confident we can take action together and eradicate this emerging threat.”

Xylazine has been detected in nearly every state in the country. The Biden-Harris Administration made this designation for the first time in U.S. history due to xylazine’s growing role in overdose deaths nationwide, and since the designation, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have continued to show an increase in xylazine-related overdose deaths. In a new report released last month, the monthly percentage of illegally manufactured fentanyl-involved deaths with xylazine detected increased 276% (from 2.9% to 10.9%) between January 2019 and June 2022.

A first-of-its-kind National Response Plan outlines action steps the federal government will pursue to address this threat, protect public health and public safety, and save lives. This includes both short- and longer-term action steps to provide immediate relief to communities across the nation, and to support the large-scale efforts needed to eradicate this threat.

The plan released today focuses on six pillars of action:

White House.gov. 07/11/2023.
  1. Testing
  2. Data Collection
  3. Evidence-Based Prevention, Harm Reduction, and Treatment
  4. Supply Reduction
  5. Scheduling
  6. Research

The plan outlines action steps and key responsibilities for departments and agencies across the federal government, and directs them to develop and submit an Implementation Report to the White House in 60 days. As required by statute in the SUPPORT Act and the Criteria for Designating Evolving and Emerging Drug Threats (Dir. No. 2022-002), the goal of the National Response Plan is the termination of fentanyl combined with xylazine as an emerging threat. This will require a 15% reduction (compared to 2022 as the baseline year) of xylazine positive drug poisoning deaths in at least three of four U.S. census regions by 2025.

The Biden-Harris Administration has ramped up national response efforts over the last several months, including the following actions taken by agencies across government. In December, Dr. Gupta hosted a listening session with public health and public safety leaders and subject matter experts from several states and territories about trends they are seeing related to xylazine and efforts to address these trends. In January, Dr. Gupta convened the Evolving and Emerging Threats Committee to discuss the emergence of fentanyl adulterated with xylazine in the illicit drug supply. In February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration took action to restrict the unlawful entry of xylazine active pharmaceutical ingredients and finished dosage form drug products into the country to address the growing public health concern. In March, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued a public safety alert to warn the American public of a sharp increase in the trafficking of fentanyl mixed with xylazine.

Since the designation on April 12, ONDCP has convened federal government departments and agencies to develop and implement the National Response Plan. ONDCP has also been meeting with state and local leaders and subject matter experts, including Drug Free Community grantees, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) grantees, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the American Veterinary Medical Association, States Attorneys General, law enforcement leaders, frontline health care and emergency services providers, individuals with lived experience, and more. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) also convened health care professionals and federal partners to review currently available best practices in xylazine-related testing, treatment, and wound care to inform evolving best-practices in the field.

While this plan outlines action steps the federal government will pursue to address the emerging threat, it will require a whole-of-society effort to save lives. The National Response Plan also notes practical steps states and individuals can take to help address this issue:

White House.gov. 07/11/2023.
  • Healthcare providers are encouraged to be on the alert for signs and symptoms of patients’ exposure to fentanyl adulterated with xylazine and to provide effective care for overdose and wounds, and initiate or transfer care to opioid use disorder treatment services wherever these patients are encountered.
  • State, county, and city health authorities are encouraged to proactively seek out those believed to be consuming fentanyl adulterated with xylazine to offer mobile, low-threshold care before their conditions worsen.
  • Addiction treatment and emergency responders should consult with experts on xylazine detoxification methods to understand emerging practices.
  • Law enforcement and elected officials must coordinate with their public health colleagues in order to enhance the efficacy of their efforts to reduce and disrupt the illicit supply chain and go after traffickers.
  • Community-based programs will be amongst the first to interface with individuals vulnerable to fentanyl adulterated with xylazine and will be key partners in these efforts.

Read the full National Response Plan to Fentanyl Combined with Xylazine HERE.

Read about the Biden-⁠Harris Administration’s efforts to crack down on illicit fentanyl supply chains HERE.

Read the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Drug Control Strategy HERE.


Climate Change Tweet

From Tuesday…

The White House posted the following; FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Takes Action to Protect Communities from Extreme Heat Fueled by the Climate Crisis (07/11/2023)

New measures will protect communities from extreme heat

Millions of Americans are being impacted by extreme heat waves, which are growing in intensity, frequency, and duration due to climate change. In June, heat waves broke records across the country. Puerto Rico experienced its hottest month in more than 120 years, and Texas recorded its top 19 hottest days ever. Parts of Michigan, New York and Vermont also broke their daily temperature records. And in the first six months of 2023, there were 12 individual billion-dollar weather and climate events across the country. The situation is alarming, and it requires an all-of-society response to ensure that communities have the support they need to plan, prepare, and recover from these extreme weather events, which are costing the U.S. billions of dollars every year.

From day one, President Biden has taken action to address the climate crisis, which includes securing more than $50 billion to help Americans in every single state become more resilient to climate impacts like heat waves. He has continued to deliver on the most ambitious climate agenda in American history—an agenda that is lowering energy costs for hardworking families, bolstering America’s energy security, creating thousands of good-paying jobs, and strengthening community-driven climate resilience across the country. Meanwhile, many Republicans in Congress continue to deny the very existence of climate change and remain committed to repealing the President’s Inflation Reduction Act – the biggest climate protection bill ever – which would undermine the health and safety of their own constituents.

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing additional measures to protect communities from extreme heat:

White House.gov. 07/11/2023.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will establish two virtual research centers to help communities manage and improve resilience to extreme heat. Coordinated through the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) and supported by a $5 million investment from the Inflation Reduction Act, the centers will help provide technical assistance and actionable, locally-tailored information that historically marginalized and underserved communities can use to better prepare for extreme heat.
  • The White House Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Extreme Heat, together with the NIHHIS, will develop a National Heat Strategy centered on equity and environmental justice. This strategy will align with the forthcoming National Climate Resilience Framework announced by President Biden last month.
  • The White House will convene Mayors and other local and Tribal officials from communities that are currently facing long duration extreme heat events to bolster preparedness. The meeting will include Federal emergency response agencies and voluntary organizations such as the American Red Cross to identify what can be done now to support vulnerable populations and discuss how the Federal government can provide support to State, local and Tribal partners to better equip communities in managing extreme heat that so many Americans are facing this summer.
  • The White House today convened leaders from across the nation for a Summit on Climate Resilience and Sustainability in Affordable Housing. The Summit will focus on how property owners, developers, and asset managers can leverage historic investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to reduce the risks posed by extreme heat and other climate impacts to low-income Americans.

Today’s announcements build on numerous actions that the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to bolster heat response and resilience nationwide. The White House also continues to work with state and local partners to provide clear and accessible information on how people can protect themselves from extreme heat.

To protect communities from extreme heat, the Biden Harris Administration is:

Providing Clear and Accessible Information to Protect Communities

  • Launched Heat.gov. Last year, the Administration launched Heat.gov, a website that provides the public and state, local, and tribal decision makers with clear, timely, and science-based information to understand and reduce the health risks of extreme heat. This one-stop hub includes heat forecasts and climate outlooks, tools and tips for heat protection, and the latest information on opportunities to leverage the President’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to support communities affected by extreme heat. NIHHIS also maintains the Heat Equity mapping tool to identify disadvantaged communities that are at greatest risk from extreme heat.
  • Launched #SummerReady Campaign. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is also running a #SummerReady Campaign, which launched at the start of this summer, to build awareness of the hazards that communities face during the summer months. This is one component of the 2023 Federal Extreme Heat Safety Campaign, a coordinated effort by the IWG on Extreme Heat and NIHHIS to ensure communities are equipped with the information they need during the hottest days. In addition, FEMA’s Ready.gov provides key information, checklists, and templates to help people plan for all hazards, including extreme heat, and resources to help members of the community to protect themselves and each other when facing extreme heat.
  • Established a New Climate-Oriented Public Health Office. President Biden established the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to protect the health of people throughout the country in the face of climate change, especially those experiencing a higher share of exposures and impacts. The new office produces the Climate and Health Outlook to help professionals and the public protect individual and community health in light of anticipated climate events. HHS also produces the Heat & Health Tracker, a web-based tool that provides daily data and county-specific information to help communities proactively address heat-related illness.
  • Reaching Underserved Communities. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Let’s Talk About Heat Challenge, supported by the American Rescue Plan, is funding 10 community groups and localities across the country to implement innovative communication strategies designed to help Americans protect themselves against extreme heat risks. The Challenge focuses on engaging underserved and overburdened communities.
  • Launched Heat Mapping Campaigns in 154 Communities. This summer, NOAA launched campaigns to map extreme heat and urban heat islands in an additional 154 communities across 14 states, adding to a growing list of over 70 communities where the inequitable distribution of heat has been measured. These communities are using heat maps to direct investments, inform local planning and cooling strategies, and help secure environmental justice in low-income communities, communities of color, and historically redlined neighborhoods that face disproportionate exposure to heat hazards. To learn more about the campaigns and see their results, visit Heat.gov.

Lowering Cooling Costs and Strengthening the Power Grid

  • Lowering Cooling Costs for Low-Income Households. In FY 2022 alone, HHS deployed $3.85 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and helped over 6 million households lower cooling costs for low-income households, open cooling centers, or buy, distribute, or loan efficient air conditioning equipment. HHS’s Heat Stress Dashboard details how LIHEAP funds are supporting heat resilience nationwide. DOE is also investing $3.5 billion through its Weatherization Assistance Program to help make low-income households more comfortable and safer in extreme weather, all while saving on energy costs, creating jobs, deploying new weatherization techniques and technology.
  • Strengthening the U.S. Power Grid. As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the Department of Energy (DOE) is providing $2.3 billion in grants over the next five years to states, territories, and federally recognized Tribes to help modernize the electric grid to reduce impacts of extreme weather, including extreme heat. More than $125 million in grants through this program have been announced so far this year.
  • Using Greenscapes to Provide Relief from Extreme Heat. The U.S. Forest Service continues to increase equitable access to trees and green spaces in urban communities where more than 84% of Americans live, work, and play, including by making available $1 billion in grants through the Inflation Reduction Act for this purpose. Tree canopies and other greenscapes reduce temperatures across urban heat islands and provide shade and relief during the hottest days, all while mitigating the emissions that drive climate change. The urban forest grant program is part of President Biden’s commitment to environmental justice and his Justice40 Initiative, which works to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities.
  • Making HUD-Supported Housing More Energy Efficient. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is announcing more than $830 million for its Green and Resilient Retrofit Program, which will upgrade affordable multifamily housing to save residents money, reduce building emissions, and protect residents from climate-driven hazards like extreme heat. Eligible upgrades include cool coatings for roofs to bring down building temperatures during high heat days, installation of heat pumps to reduce energy demand and keep units cool, and upgraded windows and sealing to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. 
  • Preparing Schools for Extreme Heat. Through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, EPA provided technical assistance to four communities through the Schools as Community Cleaner Air and Cooling Centers program. Following in-person workshops, EPA provided each county with a tailored “playbook” of actions and next steps to upgrade school facilities to be safe spaces for children and their families during extreme heat and wildfire smoke events. Later this summer, EPA will publish resources with lessons learned from this program to help guide principals and school administrators, facilities managers, teachers, and parents and caregivers. These resources will be posted on www.epa.gov/schools.
  • Building Community Resilience to Extreme Heat. FEMA recently announced an additional $136 million for its Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program. This program is helping communities build resilience against extreme heat through innovative infrastructure design and nature-based solutions, among other strategies. FEMA will host a series of webinars this summer to help emergency managers and others design successful pre-disaster mitigation project proposals for BRIC. In May, HUD also released a guide to help builders and developers incorporate resilience in housing design and identify above-code construction techniques for a wide range of natural hazards, including extreme heat. These techniques maximize the impact of grant funding and reinforce a home’s ability to remain livable during long-term exposure to extreme heat.

Building a Heat Ready Workforce

  • Providing Job Training. NOAA recently opened a $60 million competitive funding opportunity to build a Climate Ready Workforce. This funding will connect people across the country to good-paying jobs, including heat health outreach specialists and climate equity officers, that tackle the climate crisis and boost local resilience.
     
  • Protecting Workers. Since October 2021, The Department of Labor (DOL)’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has conducted over 2,800 inspections across the nation as part of DOL’s effort to protect indoor and outdoor workers from heat stress. OSHA is also in the process of developing a standard for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings, designed to protect indoor and outdoor workers from extreme heat, including farm workers. DOL recently announced that it is inviting small business owners and representatives from local government entities to join the OSHA and other government agencies for a series of upcoming discussions on the potential impacts of a workplace heat standard on small businesses.

Economy Tweet

From Tuesday…

From the White House…

Bidenomics Is Delivering for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders: The President’s Plan Grows the Economy from the Middle Out and Bottom Up—Not the Top Down

President Biden and Vice President Harris came into office determined to rebuild our economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down—and that strategy is working. Even as they faced an immediate economic and public health crisis—with a raging pandemic, elevated unemployment, snarled supply chains, and hundreds of thousands of small businesses at risk of shuttering—the President and Vice President understood that it wouldn’t be enough to simply go back to the economy we had before the pandemic. That economy was saddled with longstanding challenges that held America back—including rising inequality and disinvestment from communities across the country.
 
President Biden recognized that some of those challenges were rooted in a failed trickle-down theory that supported slashing taxes for the wealthy and big corporations, shrinking public investment in critical priorities like infrastructure and education, and failing to safeguard market competition.

The President took office determined to move beyond these failed trickle-down policies and fundamentally change the economic direction of our country. His plan—Bidenomics—is rooted in the recognition that the best way to grow the economy is from the middle out and the bottom up. It’s an economic vision centered around three key pillars:

White House.gov. 07/11/2023.
  • Making smart public investments in America
  • Empowering and educating workers to grow the middle class
  • Promoting competition to lower costs and help entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive

While our work isn’t finished, Bidenomics is already delivering for the American people, including for AA & NHPI communities. During the Biden-Harris Administration, we have:

White House.gov. 07/11/2023.
  • Lowered the Asian American unemployment rate to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Achieved the highest Asian American employment rate since 2008.
  • Increased AA & NHPI enrollment in HealthCare.gov coverage by about 100,000 from 2020 to 2022.
  • Lifted 18,000 AA & NHPI children out of poverty through the Thrifty Food Plan.
  • The number of Asian American owned businesses increased by 18% compared to pre-pandemic.
  • Began reversing decades of infrastructure disinvestment in communities of color, including with $4 billion to reconnect communities that were previously cut off from economic opportunities by transportation infrastructure and to help advance transportation projects in disadvantaged or underserved communities.
  • Began closing the digital divide for communities of color, with funding and a commitment to connect every person in America to reliable, affordable high-speed internet by 2030.
  • Set a goal of increasing by 50% the amount of federal contracting dollars going to small disadvantaged businesses by 2025—which would translate to an additional $100 billion to minority-owned and other underserved businesses, and help more Americans realize their entrepreneurial dreams.
  • Expanded access to health care and disability benefits, reduced homelessness, and achieved historic unemployment rates for veterans, including for the nearly 400,000 AA & NHPI veterans.

Bidenomics Is Delivering for Latinos: The President’s Plan Grows the Economy from the Middle Out and Bottom Up—Not the Top Down

I have omitted the opening paragraphs as they are just repeats…

While our work isn’t finished, Bidenomics is already delivering for the American people, including for Latinos. During the Biden-Harris Administration, we have:

White House.gov. 07/11/2023.
  • Achieved the lowest Latino unemployment rate on record.
  • Achieved the largest-ever single calendar-year decline in Latino unemployment.
  • Achieved a record low Latino teen unemployment rate.
  • Increased Latino enrollment in HealthCare.gov coverage by 900,000, or 53%, from 2020 to 2022.
  • Reduced the Latino child poverty rate by greater than 7%, impacting over 300,000 children, through the Thrifty Food Plan.
  • Achieved the fastest creation rate of Hispanic-owned businesses in more than a decade, which was over 20% faster than pre-pandemic levels.
  • Began reversing decades of infrastructure disinvestment in communities of color, including with $4 billion to reconnect communities that were previously cut off from economic opportunities by transportation infrastructure and to help advance transportation projects in disadvantaged or underserved communities.
  • Began closing the digital divide for Latino families, with funding and a commitment to connect every person in America to reliable, affordable high-speed internet by 2030, considering over a third of Latino households report not having high-speed internet at home.
  • Set a goal of increasing by 50% the amount of federal contracting dollars going to small disadvantaged businesses by 2025—which would translate to an additional $100 billion to minority-owned and other underserved businesses, and help more Americans realize their entrepreneurial dreams.
  • Expanded access to health care and disability benefits, reduced homelessness, and achieved historic unemployment rates for veterans, including for the nearly 1.6 million Latino veterans.

Bidenomics Is Delivering for Black Americans: The President’s Plan Grows the Economy from the Middle Out and Bottom Up—Not the Top Down

I have omitted the opening paragraphs as they are just repeats…

While our work isn’t finished, Bidenomics is already delivering for the American people, including for Black Americans. During the Biden-Harris Administration, we have:

White House.gov. 07/11/2023.
  • Achieved the lowest Black unemployment rate on record.
  • Achieved the highest Black employment rate since November 2000.
  • Achieved the highest Black labor force participation rate since August 2008.
  • Increased Black enrollment in HealthCare.gov coverage by 400,000, or 49%, from 2020 to 2022.
  • Reduced the Black child poverty rate by greater than 12%, impacting over 200,000 children, through the Thrifty Food Plan.
  • Achieved the fastest creation rate of Black-owned small businesses in over 25 years.
  • Began reversing decades of infrastructure disinvestment in communities of color, including with $4 billion to reconnect communities that were previously cut off from economic opportunities by transportation infrastructure and to help advance transportation projects in disadvantaged or underserved communities.
  • Began closing the digital divide for Black families, with funding and a commitment to connect every person in America to reliable, affordable high-speed internet by 2030.
  • Set a goal of increasing by 50% the amount of federal contracting dollars going to small disadvantaged businesses by 2025—which would translate to an additional $100 billion to minority-owned and other underserved businesses, and help more Americans realize their entrepreneurial dreams.
  • Expanded access to health care and disability benefits, reduced homelessness, and achieved historic unemployment rates for veterans, including for the 2.4 million Black veterans.

One Year Ago Today Tweet

From Wednesday…

The video clip is 53 seconds long. The voice-over comes from remarks President Biden gave one year ago…

Remarks by President Biden and Vice President Harris in a Briefing to Preview the First Images from the James Webb Space Telescope (07/11/2022):

President Biden:

Put together, it’s a new window into the history of our universe.

And today, we’re going to get a glimpse of the first light to shine through that window — light from other worlds, orbiting stars far beyond our own.  It’s astounding to me when I read this and saw the — I mean, it really is.  It’s — it’s — anyway, I don’t want to — I’ll see what they think when we see this. 

[snip]

These images are going to remind the world that America can do big things.  And they’ll remind the American people, especially our children, that there’s nothing beyond our capacity — nothing beyond our capacity.

We can see possibilities no one has ever seen before.  We can go places no one has ever gone before.  You know, you’ve — you’ve heard me say it over and over again.  America is defined by one single word: possibilities.  Possibilities. 

White House.gov. 07/11/2022.

From NASA.gov; Webb Celebrates First Year of Science With Close-up on Birth of Sun-like Stars

From our cosmic backyard in the solar system to distant galaxies near the dawn of time, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has delivered on its promise of revealing the universe like never before in its first year of science operations. To celebrate the completion of a successful first year, NASA has released Webb’s image of a small star-forming region in the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex.

“In just one year, the James Webb Space Telescope has transformed humanity’s view of the cosmos, peering into dust clouds and seeing light from faraway corners of the universe for the very first time. Every new image is a new discovery, empowering scientists around the globe to ask and answer questions they once could never dream of,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Webb is an investment in American innovation but also a scientific feat made possible with NASA’s international partners that share a can-do spirit to push the boundaries of what is known to be possible. Thousands of engineers, scientists, and leaders poured their life’s passion into this mission, and their efforts will continue to improve our understanding of the origins of the universe – and our place in it.”

The new Webb image released today features the nearest star-forming region to us. Its proximity at 390 light-years allows for a highly detailed close-up, with no foreground stars in the intervening space.

“On its first anniversary, the James Webb Space Telescope has already delivered upon its promise to unfold the universe, gifting humanity with a breathtaking treasure trove of images and science that will last for decades,” said Nicola Fox, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “An engineering marvel built by the world’s leading scientists and engineers, Webb has given us a more intricate understanding of galaxies, stars, and the atmospheres of planets outside of our solar system than ever before, laying the groundwork for NASA to lead the world in a new era of scientific discovery and the search for habitable worlds.”

Webb’s image shows a region containing approximately 50 young stars, all of them similar in mass to the Sun, or smaller. The darkest areas are the densest, where thick dust cocoons still-forming protostars. Huge bipolar jets of molecular hydrogen, represented in red, dominate the image, appearing horizontally across the upper third and vertically on the right. These occur when a star first bursts through its natal envelope of cosmic dust, shooting out a pair of opposing jets into space like a newborn first stretching her arms out into the world. In contrast, the star S1 has carved out a glowing cave of dust in the lower half of the image. It is the only star in the image that is significantly more massive than the Sun.

“Webb’s image of Rho Ophiuchi allows us to witness a very brief period in the stellar lifecycle with new clarity. Our own Sun experienced a phase like this, long ago, and now we have the technology to see the beginning of another’s star’s story,” said Klaus Pontoppidan, who served as Webb project scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, since before the telescope’s launch and through the first year of operations.

Some stars in the image display tell-tale shadows indicating protoplanetary disks – potential future planetary systems in the making.

NASA.gov. 07/12/2023.

A Full Year, Across the Full Sky

From its very first deep field image, unveiled by President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Nelson live at the White House, Webb has delivered on its promise to show us more of the universe than ever before. However, Webb revealed much more than distant galaxies in the early universe.

“The breadth of science Webb is capable of exploring really becomes clear now, when we have a full year’s worth of data from targets across the sky,” said Eric Smith, associate director for research in the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters and Webb program scientist. “Webb’s first year of science has not only taught us new things about our universe, but it has revealed the capabilities of the telescope to be greater than our expectations, meaning future discoveries will be even more amazing.” The global astronomy community has spent the past year excitedly poring over Webb’s initial public data and getting a feel for how to work with it.

Beyond the stunning infrared images, what really has scientists excited are Webb’s crisp spectra – the detailed information that can be gleaned from light by the telescope’s spectroscopic instruments. Webb’s spectra have confirmed the distances of some of the farthest galaxies ever observed, and have discovered the earliest, most distant supermassive black holes. They have identified the compositions of planet atmospheres (or lack thereof) with more detail than ever before, and have narrowed down what kinds of atmospheres may exist on rocky exoplanets for the first time. They also have revealed the chemical makeup of stellar nurseries and protoplanetary disks, detecting water, organic carbon-containing molecules, and more. Already, Webb observations have resulted in hundreds of scientific papers answering longstanding questions and raising new ones to address with Webb.

The breadth of Webb science is also apparent in its observations of the region of space we are most familiar with – our own solar system. Faint rings of gas giants appear out of the darkness, dotted by moons, while in the background Webb shows distant galaxies. By comparing detections of water and other molecules in our solar system with those found in the disks of other, much younger planetary systems, Webb is helping to build up clues about our own origins – how Earth became the ideal place for life as we know it.

“With a year of science under our belts, we know exactly how powerful this telescope is, and have delivered a year of spectacular data and discoveries,” said Webb Senior Project Scientist Jane Rigby of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “We’ve selected an ambitious set of observations for year two — that builds on everything we’ve learned so far. Webb’s science mission is just getting started — there’s so much more to come.”

The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier space science observatory. Webb is solving mysteries in our solar system, looking beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probing the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency.

NASA.gov. 07/12/2023.

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About Tiff 2647 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.