Dr. Fauci speaks on President Biden's coronavirus relief plan
Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks about President Biden's coronavirus relief plan, including specifics on vaccine distribution.
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Please wait. Just screwed and the president elect wants because of their master. 99 more days now, he claims that he could get 50 million people, two doses of until 19 vaccine within 100 days. And he didn't like when he was accounts about whether or not he's thinking big. And thanks for that. Oh, when they're walking out getting Michael party and I have a chance to ask Dr Introduction doctors went before the president did. How long from now until America is vaccinating one million people per day, which is what they need to be on track with final plan, He said he thinks we're starting to see that should e don't mean to interrupt your live shot with Dr Fauci. Uh, okay. Good afternoon. Thank you for joining us today. Many familiar faces from yesterday back again. We're pleased to have Dr Fauci here with us as part of the president's commitment tohave public health experts, leader communication with the American people about the pandemic. Just to give you a bit of a run of show here, Dr Fauci will speak at the top about the state of the pandemic, the status of vaccines. He'll take some of your questions. I will play the role of the bad cop when it's time for him to go and get to the work of the American people. And then I will do a topper and I'll answer a bunch of your questions as well. So there's lots to come after this. With that, I will turn it over to Dr Fauci, Thank you very much. And I'm gonna just spend a couple of minutes just summarizing the status of where we are on then maybe addressing some of the things that I know are on people's minds. So first of all, obviously, we are still in a very serious situation, e mean to have over 400,000. Death is something that you know is unfortunately historic in the very in the very bad sense. Um, when you look at the number of new infections that we have, it's still at a very, very high rate. Hospitalizations air up. There are certain areas of the country, as I think you're all familiar with, which are really stressed from the standpoint of beds. From the standpoint of the stress on the health care system. However, when you look more recently at the seven day average of cases. Remember, we were going between three and 400,000 and two and 300,000. Right now, it looks like it might actually be plateau ing in the sense of turning around. Now there's good news in that. But you have to be careful that we may not be seeing perhaps an artifact, an artifact of slowing down following the holidays. So when we see that, we think it's riel. But one of the things and it's interesting. I'm starting getting a deja vu standing up here because I said something like this almost a little bit less than a year ago, when we were talking about the the acceleration of cases in the late winter early spring of 2020 when we were having New York City metropolitan area being the epicenter of what was going on. That there are always lags. So please be be aware of that, that when you have cases and then a couple of weeks later you see it represented in hospitalizations, intensive care and then a couple of weeks later in deaths. So you have almost a paradoxical curves where you see something plateau ing and maybe coming down at the same time as hospitalizations and deaths might actually be going up. So this is something that I just put on your radar screen. It is not an unusual thing to see that sort of thing. The other point I wanna make is one that we're getting asked a lot regarding questions. And that that is what is it about these mutants that you're hearing about the mutants in the UK, which we know are in about 20 plus states. Three Yuk the mutants that we're seeing in South Africa and in Brazil. First of all, we need to understand that RNA viruses like coronaviruses mutate all the time. Most of the mutations don't have any physiological relevance with regard to the function of the virus itself. However, every once in a while you get mutations either singly or clustered and combinations which do have an impact. So what have we learned thus far? And I want to emphasize thus far because we're paying very, very careful attention to this, and we take it very seriously, at least from the experience that our colleagues in the UK have had. The one that is in the UK appears tohave a greater degree of transmissibility about twice as much as what we call the wild type original virus. The one that is in South Africa is a bit difference, and I'll get to that in a second. So it does look like it increases the transmissibility, they say correctly, on a 1 to 1 basis, it doesn't seem to make the virus more virulent or have a greater chance of making you seriously ill or killing you. However, we shouldn't be lulled into complacency about that, because if you have a virus that is more transmissible, you're gonna get more cases. When you get more cases, you're gonna get more hospitalizations on. When you get more hospitalizations, you ultimately gonna get more deaths. So even though the virus on a 1 to 1 basis isn't more serious, the phenomenon of a more transmissible virus is something that you take seriously. The next thing is, does it change enough to interfere with the efficacy of the whole group of monoclonal antibodies that many of you are aware of? The monoclonal antibodies that are being used for treatment in some cases and prevention since monoclonal antibodies buying to a very specific part of the virus. When there's a mutation there, it has much greater chance of obliterating the efficacy of a monoclonal antibody. And we're seeing in the much more concerning, um, uh, mutations that air in South Africa and in some respects Brazil, which is similar to South Africa that is having an effect on the monoclonal antibodies. The rial question that people are quite clearly interested in is what is the impact on the vaccine? And so far, literally. We have this new phenomenon that are pre print journals where where people get data and they put it into a pre print server, where it hasn't yet been peer reviewed. But you have to pay attention to it because it gives you good information quickly. Ultimately, it gets confirmed and we're seeing them coming out over the last few days. And what they're saying is that what we likely will be seeing is the diminution mawr, South Africa than UK UK. Is that diminution in what would be the efficacy of the vaccine induced anybody's? Now, that does not mean that the vaccines will not be effective. And let me explain why there's a thing called a cushion effect So if you have a vaccine like the Moderna and the Fires a vaccine that could suppress the virus at a dilution, let's say of 1 to 1000 and the mutant influences it by bringing it down to maybe one toe 800 or something like that. You're still well above the line of not being effective. So there's that cushion that even though it's diminished somewhat, it still is effective. That's what we're seeing both, certainly with the U. K. Which is very minimal effect. Well, why we're following very carefully the one in South Africa which is a little bit more concerning, but nonetheless not something that we don't think that we can handle. What is the message? Because someone could say, Now, wait a minute. If you have the possibility that the vaccines are diminishing in their impact, why we vaccinating people know it is all the more reason why we should be vaccinating as many people as you possibly can, because as long as the viruses out there replicating viruses don't mutate unless they replicate, and if you could suppress that by a very good vaccine campaign, then you could actually avoid this deleterious effect that you might get from the mutations. Bottom line, we're paying very close attention to it. There are alternative plans. If we ever have to modify the vaccine. That is not something that is a very honored, onerous thing. We can do that, given the platforms we have. But right now, from the reports we have literally as of today, it appears that the vaccines will still be effective against them. With the caveat in mind, you wanna play close attention to it. So, John, why don't I just stopped there and then maybe just answer some questions on anything else that I said? So, yeah. How helpful would it event if Amazon got involved with the federal response to Kobe 19 before fighting developed? And do you know about any plans or discussions ahead of yesterday? I don't think I could answer that question. I'd be waving my hands about that. Sorry. Well, you know, one of the new things and this administration's if you know the answer, don't guess. Just say you don't know the answer. Yeah. Yes, that's a fact. A couple of questions. If I might I'd like to follow up with you on what you just said about this strain in South Africa. Has that strain made its way to the United States? And what if any, concerns do you have? How much do we understand about great question? Thus far, it does not appear at all that the South African strain is in the United States. However, we must be honest and say that the level of comprehensive sequence surveillance thus far is not at the level that we would have liked. So we're gonna be looking very, very carefully for it. But given the information we have today, it doesn't appear that the South African strain is here. Just ask you about the effort to distribute the vaccines. Because, of course, that's what makes people want to know. When are they going to get a vaccine? Is the Biden administration starting from scratch with the vaccine distribution effort? Or are you picking up where the Trump administration left off? No, I mean we certainly not starting from scratch because there is activity going on in the distribution. But if you look at the plan that the president has put forth about the things that he is going to do, namely, get community vaccine centers up, get pharmacies Mawr involved, where appropriate. Get the Defense Production Act involved. Not only perhaps with getting more vaccine, but even the things you need to get a good vaccine program, for example, needles and syringes that might be more useful in that. So it's taking what's going on. But amplifying it in a big way. President Biden said that what was left was abysmal. Essentially, is there anything actionable that you are taking from the previous administration? Well, is that delaying your efforts to get the vaccine? I mean, that's the question. No, I mean what We're coming in with fresh ideas, but also some ideas that were not bad ideas with With the previous administration, you can't say it was absolutely not usable it all. So we are continuing, but you're going to see a real ramping up of it. Final question. You had said that most people will be vaccinated by in the middle of 2021. Is that still your expectation? Yes, it is. I mean, I believe that the goal that was set by the president of getting 100 million people vaccinated in the 1st 100 days is quite a reasonable goal and when you get to the point and one of the things that I think is something we need to pay attention to, and I quite frankly been spending a considerable amount of my own time is out reaching, particularly to minority communities, to make sure that you get them to be vaccinated. And you explain why it's so important for themselves, their family and their community. If we get 70 to 85% of the country vaccinated, let's say, by the end of the summer, middle of the summer, I believe by the time we get to the fall we will be approaching a degree of normality. It's not gonna be perfectly normal, but one that I think will take a lot of pressure off the American public. You're what about if you holdovers from the previous administration, this current what? What has been your experience with this new team and in your view, what would have been different in terms of the trajectory of this outbreak from the start? Had a team like this been in place at the beginning? Well, I can tell you my my impression of of of what's going on right now, the team. I don't know if I can extrapolate other things, but one of the things that was very clear as recently as about 15 minutes ago when I was with the president is that one of the things that we're gonna do is to be completely transparent, open and honest. If things go wrong, not point fingers, but to correct them and to make everything we do be based on science and evidence. I mean, that was literally a conversation I had 15 minutes ago with the president, and he has said that multiple times you looking back on your comments of the last 12 months would like to now with that sort of licensed Thio, Amanda or clarify. No, I mean, I always said everything on the base. That's why I got in trouble sometimes, right? I you mentioned pharmacies. The new CDC director said today that the goal of getting vaccinations into pharmacies by the end of next month isn't realistic, as had been previously suggested. When will most Americans be able t o get a vaccination in their neighborhood pharmacy? Well, I didn't hear that comment. Are you talking about Dr Alinsky's comment? I didn't hear that comment, So I don't really wanna comment on on the comment. But what she may be saying is that for many people in this country who don't have access to a pharmacy, they may not be able to utilize getting things in the pharmacy. I'm not sure I'm gonna be careful, cause I'm not sure that's what she said. We just had a conversation about how we're going to get vaccines to people who are in pharmacy desert areas where they don't have easy access to a pharmacy. That's something we're working on and taking very seriously. Just to be clear, if you are in an area where you do have access to a CBS or Walgreens, when will you be able to get access to this vaccine like you would a flu vaccine? In the spirit of not guessing, I really I'm not quite sure when that will be, but we can get back to you on that. Just on the broader timeline you mentioned the fall we just heard the president say, you know, the brutal truth is that it is going to be several more months just to be clear, you're saying by the fall the majority of Americans you think we'll be back to No, I didn't say that. If we get the majority of Americans 70 85% vaccinated by then we could have a degree of herd immunity that would get us back to normal. The concern I have and something we're working on is getting people who have vaccine hesitancy who don't want to get vaccinated because many people are skeptical about that. So we really need to do a lot of good outreach for that. I mean, I don't know what the best case, the best case scenario, who for me is that we get 85% of the people vaccinated by the end of the summer? If we do, then by the time we get to the fall, I think we can approach a degree of normality on that mutations that you were talking about, a question about how exactly they increased transmissibility eyes. Does it take less exposure? Time to get what it is is that you could do in vitro in a test tube setting binding and affinity to the receptors which you have in your nose and your lung and your G I tract the receptor for the virus is called an ace two receptor, and the facility or affinity with which a virus binds to that means that it very likely will have a better efficiency of infection and replicate mawr in the nasal pharynx. So that's how you make that determination in the test to. Then you look epidemiologically and you see a spike going up in the sense of number of cases, and they sort of match each other. Ah, virus that, as the inability to easily bind to and replicate with your receptors is one that likely will spread easier. You'd have more viral load. Oh, you could. Yes, in fact, it would mean because if it binds more easily, it could replicate in the nasal pharynx more easily, and it is likely that you would have a high of our load make masks less effective. In that case, no, it makes it the reason why you absolutely should be wearing a mask. It doesn't necessarily make it less effective if you properly wear a mask, then you'll be okay. UK strange. Do you have any any data on how widespread that strain is in the United? Well, I think it's in a least 20 states that people have mentioned exactly the real question that's going to be asked. Is it going to become the dominant strain, or will the strains we already have prevented from flourishing and being in the more dominant strain? But it is here for sure. Yeah, just a follow up on vaccine. Some state and local authorities were saying that they would be able to distribute more vaccines if they had more. Is the Biden administration now trying to increase production by Madonna and Pfizer in the next six weeks, as well as to utilize what we hope will be another player in the field that J. And J. Johnson, as well as other of the companies but also as the as the president has said in this plan, to do whatever he can to expand Thea Veil, ability of vaccines, whatever that is? I mean, he said that he's gonna just use every possibility, including the Defense Production Act. You explain the discrepancy between what some states are saying about needing mawr vaccines and the CDC saying that a lot of vaccine is still remaining on people's are on their shelves. Yeah, you know, I I think that that is something that we need to really take a close look at, because that is sort of an inconsistent discrepancy. And one of the things we want to do is to find out why that's the case and if it is the case, particularly the thing that would be most disturbing if there's vaccine late laying around and people are not using it when others would need it. But I don't know the answer to that question, but we need to look into it. Doctor found 2000 You've joked a couple times today already about the difference in that you feel and being kind of the spokesperson for this issue in this administration versus the previous one. Can you can you talk a little bit about how free, How much different do you feel less constrained? What is the You know you for so many times you stood up behind the podium with Donald Trump standing behind you. That was a different. That was a different feeling. I'm I'm sure, than it is today. Can you talk a little bit about how you feel? Uh, kind of released from from what you have been doing for the last year. But you said I was joking about it. I was very serious about it. I wasn't joking. Uh, no, actually, I mean, I mean, obviously, I don't wanna be going back over history, but it was very clear that there were things that were said, be it regarding things like hydroxy Clara Quinn and other things like that, that really was an uncomfortable because they were not based on scientific facts. I can tell you, I I take no pleasure at all in being in a situation of contradicting the president. So it was really something that you didn't feel, that you could actually say something, and there wouldn't be any repercussions about it. The idea that you could get up here and talk about what? You know what? The evidence, what the science is and no, that's it. Let the science speak. It is somewhat of a liberating feeling. Basically vanished for for a few months there for a while. You feel like you're back now? E think so? Okay, that's make sure you don't wanna take Thank you. Thank you so much for joining us. Who should, and we'll have him back again. So e Well, thank you, everyone. A zai promised we'll have a full briefing from here. So Aziz, you know, just a few moments ago, the president also released a national co vid 19 strategy and signed 10 executive orders and other directives to move quickly to contain the crisis underpinning everything the president signed today and everything we do every day will be equity. Some highlights of those actions include an executive order to fill supply shortfalls for vaccinations, testing and PP. The president directed agencies to exercise all appropriate authorities, including the Defense Production Act, to accelerate manufacturing and delivering of supplies such as N 95 masks, gowns, gloves, PCR swabs, test free agents and necessary equipment and material for the vaccine. The president also signed a presidential memorandum to increase federal reimbursement to states and tribes for the cost of National Guard personnel, emergency supplies and the personnel and equipment needed to create vaccination centers. An executive order that established Covic 19 pandemic testing board to bring the full force of the federal government's expertise to expanding testing, supply and increasing access to testing an executive order to bolster access to Covad. 19 treatments and clinical care establishing a comprehensive and coordinated pre clinical drug discovery and development program to allow therapeutics to be evaluated and developed in response to pandemic threats. Uh, sorry to clear my throat. There's a lot here. Um He also issued an executive order directing the Department of Education and Health and Human Services to provide guidance on safe re opening and operating for schools, childcare providers and institutions of higher education. An executive order on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to immediately release clear guidance for employers to help keep workers safe from Cove in 19 exposure. An executive order to require mask wearing and airports or certain modes of public transportation, including many trains, airplanes, maritime vessels and intercity bus. Is and an executive order establishing a cove in 19 health equity task for something we had previously announced but making it official today to provide specific recommendations to the president for allocating resources and funding and communities with inequities in Covad. 19. Outcomes by race, ethnicity, geography, disability and other considerations. Thes steps, of course, build on the actions we announced yesterday. I had an additional update. Some of you may have seen this come out through last late last night. But I wanted to share with you that as a result of one of the executive orders President Biden signed yesterday, the acting homeland security secretary issued a memorandum to review and reset immigration enforcement priorities for 100 days. Beginning tomorrow, the Department of Homeland Security will pause removals for certain individuals. This pause will allow the administration to review and reset enforcement policies and ensure that resource is our dedicated to the most pressing challenges and that we have a fair and effective for enforcement system rooted in responsibly managing the border and protecting our national security and public safety. I had one other item I just wanted to flag for you about something the first lady is up to. Let me see if I can find that or I will circle back to it a little bit later. With that, I'm happy to your questions. Why don't you kick us off? Thanks, Jen. Uh, there's some reporting earlier today about the president's commitment. Thio extending really extending new start. Do you talk about what President directive on that front has been? Additionally, did he confirmed that president requested reports from the DNI for an assessment on potential foreign interference in the 2020 election, then also solar wind. Sak e can confirm that the United States intends to seek a five year extension of new Start as the treaty permits. The president has long been clear that the new Start treaty is in the national security interests of the United States on this extension makes even more sense when the relationship with Russia is adversarial as it is at this time. Uh, new start is the only remaining treaty constraining Russian nuclear forces and is an anchor of strategic stability between our two countries and to the other part of your question. Um, even as we work with Russia to advance US interests, so too we work to hold Russia to account for its reckless and adversarial actions. And to this end, the president is also issuing issuing a tasking to the intelligence community for its full assessment of the solar winds, cyber breach, Russian interference in the 2020 election, its use of chemical weapons against opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the alleged bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan. So that's hopefully answered all of it. That was a mouthful. Just change here for seven Thio Kobe negotiations with Capitol Hill. How long is Eyes president willing to pursue bipartisanship? Democrats are already talking about reconciliation processes there. Given the critical need for some sort of aid here, the president's talking about. Is there a deadline at which he is going? He's giving Republicans. But ISAT February 1st is it presents weekend by what you'll say no reduced by reconciliation said, Well, I'm not going to set any deadlines on our first full day in office, but I will say, And hopefully I'll have more for all of you on this tomorrow. We are going to be increasing our engagements. It's already been ongoing, even before the president was inaugurated yesterday. But hopefully we'll have more to share with you tomorrow on meetings, engagements, Um uh, discussions that will be going on with leaders on Capitol Hill and many members over the course of the next several days. A zai conveyed toe all of you yesterday. His preference on priority is a bipartisan package and working with members of both parties to come to agreement on that because he believes that, uh, the crises facing the American people uh, a zoo we saw the jobs numbers this morning. The unemployment, unemployment insurance claims. I should say we put out a statement by our NBC director in case you didn't see that a Z we've seen and the reports from Dr Fauci just a few minutes ago. This is this crisis is dire on. It requires immediate action, and we hope and expect members of both parties to work together to do that. We're also not going to take options off the table. Uh, so we'll proceed with those discussions over the next couple of days. Go ahead, Christian. If I could just follow up on that, there was some reporting that there was gonna be a meeting this weekend with a bipartisan group of lawmakers. Can you give us any indication? Is that going to happen with President Biden or with his economic team? Is that your expectation? Well, I think the reporting was around a meeting with any C Director Brian Deese. I spoke with him earlier today. He is definitely going to be engaging or with a range of members and a range of different groups of members from Capitol Hill in the coming days. I think we were still working to confirm specific meetings before I came out here, and I hope to have more for all of you on that by tomorrow. More broadly speaking, Gen. President Biden has proposed this $1.9 trillion package. You already have some Republicans who say we just passed a stimulus plan. They're not gonna get on board with this. Mitt Romney among them. Who says we just passed a program with over $900 billion? And some people say the price tag is just way too big. So how does President Biden expect to get this passed with bipartisan support? How does that figure is? Broader message of bipartisanship proposing something like this specific? Well, I think it's perfectly into his message of bipartisanship. He wants to work with Democrats and Republicans to address the crises that the American people are facing, whether they live in red states or blue states or Democratic Democrats or Republicans. Uh, the package was designed based on recommendations from health experts from economists. Um, it's been applauded by everyone from Senator Bernie Sanders to the Chamber of Commerce, and there are specific pieces in there that are meant to serve as a bridge for the American people, including. Ah, large percentage of it. That's for unemployment insurance. Uh, funding for vaccine distribution, Something that is pivotal. I was We've already been discussing here today for reopening of schools. So part of the discussion will be having with members is what? What do you want to cut on? Uh, this is a plan that he feels addresses the crisis of the moment. Follow up on that. The work of the Senate is being held up by this dispute over the filibuster. Where does President Biden come down on that? Does he think that there should not be a filibuster so that the Senate could be four of its work? Well, the president elect spoke just yesterday, as you all saw about the spirit of working together and bipartisanship to confront the four crises facing us. You've already seen him work with Republicans and Democrats and and work toward a bipartisan approach to passing packages that will address the crises we're facing. And that certainly is his priority in his preference. Eso That's what he'll continue to work on on day two of the administration. Go ahead, make sure e just give you a e So I wanna push you a little bit more on that question if if there's this call for unity that the president made in his speech yesterday. But there has so far been almost no fig leaf, even to the Republican Party. You don't have a Republican Cabinet member like President Obama Obama and I think President Clinton had you, you know, three executive orders that he's come out the gate have been largely designed, that erasing as much of the trump legacy is as you can with executive orders, much of which the Republican Party likes and agrees with. You've put forth an immigration bill that has a path to citizenship but doesn't do much of a nod towards the border security. And you've got a $1.9 trillion uh, covert relief bill that has, has folks have said already drawn all sorts of criticism. Where is the where is the actual action behind this idea? Bipartisanship And when When are we going to see one of those, you know, sort of substantial outreaches that says, This is something that you know the Republicans want to do to? Well, I guess what I would send back to There's a lot in there, so let me do my best here. But, uh, Mike is unemployment insurance on lee, an issue that Democrats in the country want, Uh, do Onley Democrats want their kids to go back to schools? Do only Democrats want vaccines to be distributed across the country? That's we feel that that package he feels that package is designed for bipartisan support. I will also say that we have also had some positive developments on our confirmations and our nominees. Last night, as you all saw, his not the president's nominee now confirmed leader, first female leader of the intelligence community was confirmed with a vote of 85 to 10. 84 to 10. You can check me on that, but an overwhelming vote. Um, we've We've seen progress today on on the nomination and hopeful confirmation of Lloyd Austin. So there is movement supported by both sides of the aisle, members of both parties. I think if you talk to Democrats or Republicans on the hill, which I know many of you dio they will say they're not looking for something symbolic. They're looking for engagement. They're looking to have a conversation. They're looking to have a dialogue, and that's exactly what he's going to dio go ahead and all that. Has the president reached out to congressional leaders to sit down and discuss this relief package? Will he be? How much personal involvement is he gonna have in this process? I expect he will be rolling up his sleeves and will be quite involved in this process. Mary and he was. Yesterday was quite a busy day for him. As you all know, his schedule is minute by minute, and his family was here. But he was involved even before yesterday, having conversations with members of both parties, uh, picking up the phone and and having those conversations. Hey, saw, of course, members of both parties. He invited leaders from both parties to join him at church. Obviously, that wasn't really a discussion about specifics of the bill, but they did. He did have an opportunity to talk about his agenda and working forward, working together on his agenda, moving forward. But I think you will see him quite involved in the days ahead. But you will also see the vice president quite involved. You will also see, um, policy leaders like Brian Deese and others in the administration quite involved and having conversations with both Democrats and Republicans right now to sit down with them. Well, I think we will have more to share with you soon, Uh, in terms of engagement of many of our senior officials with members of both parties and on the Defense Production Act. Just to be clear, has the administration actually invoked the Defense Production Act. And if so, can you spell out what changes we may see because of this, which companies are being asked to make one? Well, let me give you a very specific example that helped really make it clear for me. Um, one area is to acquire more low loaded volume syringes, and what that does is thes specialized syringes allow pharmacists and vaccinators to extract an extra dose of the Pfizer vile. So making more doses available, of course. Um, it also prioritizes the Defense Production Act raw materials that are used to produce, uh, the vaccine. So reducing bottlenecks. Um, and it enables manufacturers us to empower on invoke, I guess, in action from manufacturers to make sure we have the materials we need to get the vaccines out the door in the arms of Americans in terms of obviously signed it this afternoon, I'll have to just circle back with you and what it mean if it's officially invoked in this moment or if it takes some time and we can, we can circle back with you after the briefing, Go ahead. I'll stimulus. Is the White House drafting a legislative bill? You mean in terms of the what he announced last week last Thursday? Well, he announced what his specific ideas will be and what his vision is. But right now we're having discussions with members of both parties, as we have for the last week about what that will look like. Okay, so no bill draft coming. Half of the White House's with, Well, I'll I'm happy to talk to our legislative team about that. I think what was important, um, to the president was to outline what his vision would be. This is how the process should actually work, right? The president outlines. Here's the my vision. Here's what I think should be in a package. Let's have discussions. Let's have engagements with both parties and let's see what comes out of the sausage making at the other side. Uh, I'll come back to I'm sorry, but just following up on what Kristen asked, I don't think I heard an answer about whether the president supports, uh, keeping the filibuster where he sits on that is he Has he talked to Senator Schumer about that? I mean, he served there a long time. What are his thoughts on that? I think what I was conveying to Kristen is that the president has been clear. He wants to work with members of both parties and find bipartisan paths forward. And, um, I don't have any more conversations to read out for you at this point in time. Specifically, answer that unless I'm not understanding your and I don't think I have more to add. Thio. My answer. And then just on the impeachment trial, I know that there was some talk about sort of the Senate doing both both things at the same time. Two things at once. There's some reporting this afternoon that Republicans are pushing toe. Have the impeachment trial start in February. Where do you all stand? Still now on that? Are you still looking for that? Both paths to happen at the same time, we didn't be preferable to do that first. Or are you okay with with later? A. Some Republicans are talking. Well, I need I think we have been pretty consistent that we believe the timing and the, uh, mechanisms for the Congress and the Senate moving forward in holding the former president accountable. We'll leave that to them. And what our biggest priority and focuses is ensuring that it doesn't delay, uh, the Senate Congress moving forward in consideration on discussion around the covert relief package that the president proposed last week. Go ahead. Uh, thank you. Jen eyes the print cooler. I have a question for myself. And then a question for someone who cannot be here because of the social distance insurance is my question is this. And it's about unity again. I've heard from conservatives who are afraid that the president is going to try to pull back religious conscience exemptions for groups like Little Sisters of the poor. President pledged he would do that in July when little sisters want a case in the Supreme Court. Uh, health and Human Services nominee Javier Becerra, uh, pursuit that line of going going after the exemptions is Attorney general, California. What's the president going to do on that? I haven't discussed that particular issue with him. I'm happy to circle back with you, but I don't There's not a change in his position. From what he said earlier this summer, did you have another question question from Adam Langa of W USA nine, He says. We saw the president warmly greet Mayor Bowser during the parade yesterday. She is pushing for the D. C. Statehood measure to be on the president's desk within 100 days. Well, the administration get behind this bill and does the president support it? I hate to disappoint you, but I will have to circle back with you on that as well. There's quite a bit going on. I have not discussed d. C statehood with him in the last 36 hours. We're to Harry. Okay, Sounds great. Go ahead and back. Thanks, John. I wanted to circle back on something. Kobe related. I know the president has obviously made a priority of getting resuming in person learning in the 1st 100 days, I wondered, Is the administration planning thio issue any kind of uniformed guidance to states on why was reopening schools, reopening businesses, indoor dining, stuff like that. Or are you all planning to just kind of leave it to states to do sort of a patchwork based on their own situation? Well, uh, as Dr Fauci conveyed, our objective is to ensure that health and medical experts are leading the effort and delivering guide in determining guidance and also communicating it with the public whenever possible. And any guidance would come, of course, is you know, from the CDC, uh, we and we will We will, of course, defer to that, but part of our priority. And our focus here is on providing mawr engagement with states. Uh, Mork, clear guidance from the federal level. Uh, in terms of how we're planning to operate, what data we're seeing, how the how vaccines are being distributed. What we see is the challenges and that communication has been lacking as we understand it from our conversations in the past few months. So that is what we will focus on improving in the months ahead. Would you specifically Are you planned you daily or weekly calls with states? Or how are you playing Thio communication? Well, we have an entire covert team is, you know who are now. Most of them are official, and part of their role will be engaging with governors, Democrats and Republicans, uh, mayors, local elected officials to have gained a better understanding of what's happening on the ground. That will be how they're going to be in taking a great deal of information, obviously, health care providers and experts on the ground as well. We will also do engagement from the level of the president and the vice president as well, because they also want to have that conversation with states on local officials on what they're experiencing, what they see, the challenges as and on how they could be addressed. And, you know, that's something I think, in President Biden's heart. He is a local elected officials still, and he gets into the weeds of what they're experiencing, and he will be involved in that himself. Go ahead that way. Thanks. So there's a lot of really big things that the administration wants to dio Infrastructure stimulus, tax reform. Can you sort of layout the cadence for us over the upcoming year? How do you envision those three major things playing out? What's the order. When do you think those will will be taken out? What? When will they happen? Well, what I can lay out for you on our first full day here is what our initial priorities are. And they revolve around addressing the four crises that the President has stated that the country is facing, including getting the pandemic under control, getting people back toe work, addressing our climate crisis and addressing, uh, racial equity. And e was gonna ask you, do you think tax reform happens in 2021? I don't really have any predictions for you on that. I think at this point in time and for the foreseeable future, addressing the pandemic, getting the pandemic under control on that linkage Thio getting people back to work will be his top priority. You don't excel. The decision yesterday from the president what would you say to those who have lost their job or will lost their job as a result of that decision? But that, said the president in the White House. But the message of the president and the White House would be that he is, uh, committed. His record will show shows the American people that he's committed thio, UH, clean energy jobs, two jobs that are not only good, high paying jobs, union jobs, but ones that are also good for our environment. He thinks it's possible to do both. He led an effort when he was the vice president to put millions of people toe work with those both of those priorities in mind, and he will continue to do that as president. But he had opposed the Keystone Pipeline back in 2013 when it was when there was a consideration of the permit or sorry. I don't think it was 2013, I think was a little bit after that on. He's been consistent in his view, and he was delivering on a promise he made to the American public during the campaign. Go ahead all the way in the back. Thank you. I wanted to ask you about India. Use relationship. What is President Biden's vision off India US relationship, the relationship between the world's oldest and world's largest democracies? Well, first, I would say that President Biden, who, of course, has visited India many times, uh, respects and values the long, uh, bipartisan, uh, successful relationship between leaders in India and the United States. Um, he looks forward to a continuation of that. Obviously he selected. And on yesterday she was sworn in, Um, the first Indian American to serve a za president or vice president. It's certainly a historic moment for all of us in this country, but ah, further, um, you know, cementing of the importance of our relationship. So go ahead. Yeah, thanks. Uh, two questions. I got one on the hatch act. Well, this administration take that seriously. And do you think it's ever appropriate for this White House toe? Have a political event of a political meeting? Well, Azaz, you know, there are some political events that are acceptable, but we certainly take the hatch act seriously. Andi will abide by that. And, uh, you will not see a political rally on the South Lawn of the White House with present under President Biden the second one. This This may sound trivial, but presidents and candidates have some events. Where in their fund for the candidate. The big crowd on the acceptance speech of the convention, the big crowd at the inauguration, big rallies because of Kobe. It this president has been denied. Although it's Has he ever been it all wistful about, sort of missing the fun parts of of being a candidate and the inauguration? Not not not in front of me, George. I will say that even yesterday, um, or of the last couple of days, you know, he tried to find a moment of joy with his family and with his grandchildren, who bring him a great deal of joy and a recognition of, uh, of course, the great responsibility has on his shoulders. But a moment in history, uh, that, uh, that he was playing a very important part of. So I would say he's been in public office, as you all know for decades. And he's had many joyful moments. But this moment, serving as president, coming in at a crisis where thousands of people are dying from a pandemic every day. Millions of people are out of work eyes. Not really a time for daily joy as the leader of the free world. And he's focused on doing his job to get the work done for the American people. Go ahead. Why weren't President Biden and all members of the Biden family masks at all times on federal lands last night if he signed an executive order that mandates masks on federal winds at all times at the inaugural memorial. Yes, I think Steve, he was celebrating une evening of Historic Day in our country, and certainly he signed the mask mandate because it's a way to send a message the American public about the importance of wearing masks, how it can save tens of thousands of lives. We take a number of covert precautions, as you know here, in terms of testing, social distancing, mask wearing ourselves as we do every single day. But I don't know that I have more for you on it than that. But Joe Biden often talks about. It is not just important t example of power, but the power of our example was that a good example for people who are watching might not attention normally. Well, Steve, I think, uh, the power of his example is also, uh, the message he sends by science signing 25 executive orders, including almost half of them related to co vid, uh, the requirements that we're all under every single day here to ensure we're sending that message to the public yesterday was a historic moment. Our history. He was inaugurated as president of the United States. He was surrounded by his family. We take a number of precautions, but I don't think I think we have bigger issues. Thio worry about at this moment in time. Go ahead and data. Yeah, you mentioned. Sorry, Jeff. Let me go to Jeff because I already went to if that's okay. Thanks very much. Follow up on a new start. Do you have any indication from Russia that they will object to three extension of five years? And has the United States already alerted Moscow about its desire? Well, we have not. Obviously, as you know, a number of our nominees have talked about our intention during their confirmation hearings over the past couple of days of extending new start. I don't have any calls to read out for you, but I can check and see if any notifications or discussions have happened this afternoon. On a follow up on something from yesterday, which I think you referred Thio. President Biden had said that President Trump left him a very generous note. You didn't want to talk about it until he spoke to President Trump our president, Biden and president, former President Trump going to have a call. There's no call plans. What he was conveying is that he didn't want to release a private note without having agreement from the former president. But I wouldn't say he's seeking it through a phone call. He just was even trying to be respectful in that moment of a private letter that was sent regard to the former president. Has President Biden spoken to Speaker Pelosi? It all about the timing of when she plans to bring the impeachment articles to the Senate and how he would like to see this trial proceed. President Biden has been pretty clear about what the focus of his conversations are and what his intention is with his engagements with leaders from both sides of the aisle and in both houses of Congress, including with Speaker Pelosi, someone he's known for quite some time, and that is his intention and focus on getting through the co vid package through eso. He will leave it to her and to now leader Schumer to determine what the path forward and the timeline will be in holding the former president accountable. Uh, I need to go back to you earlier mentioned for priorities of the president. I was surprised to not hear immigration for saying that because yesterday many of the executive orders were about immigration. There were two major agency releases last night about immigration. The bill is being introduced today. Do you not see that? It's sort of the second big push after the Koven bill of where do you see that? And I guess I would say, why is it I was gonna ask you Why is it gonna be why is it such a priority after the Koven bill? But you didn't even listen. So I wanted to kind of clarify that and get your thoughts on it. Well, I wouldn't I wouldn't read into that other than immigration we consider as part of racial equity. Um, and part of which is a broad issue. But that's how the President has spoken about, uh, that crisis over the past several months, and clearly it is an enormous priority to him because, hey, we moved forward and announcing the specifics of an immigration bill on immigration package. Hey is eager to move forward on with Congress on his first day in office. Uh, but as you know, there's been a lot of history on efforts to do comprehensive immigration form to do any form of immigration reform. And what we're hopeful is that this will be a moment of reset and a moment to restart discussions on Capitol Hill. There are already a number of co sponsors who have been announced to have those discussions. There are experts on immigration who have worked on this issue on both sides of the aisle. Historically, it is an issue there that there is bipartisan support. Support from the business community supports from from a range of outside groups with with different political tilts, and we're hopeful that that will help propel it forward, Onda said today on a call. He called it a Herculean effort to get this through. As you know, it hasn't gone through as you just mentioned before. I mean, there are Republicans grumbling today that there's not Maurin, that bill that they want to see. So eyes that bill, what do you think the prospect of that bill getting through is, Well, I don't know that I can predict that the first day I mean only been out for 24 hours. Um, but what was important to the president and the outline of this bill is that it is addressing, ah, couple of areas that he doesn't feel have been effectively done. In the past the last four years, the immigration policy has been based around funding for a wall that has not worked, even to keep the country safe for even to keep bad actors out. And so his approach is a multi prompt. It is to do smart security security that will help address and use technology to address key border crossings, address ports of entry, uh, more effectively and efficiently and putting that oversight in the hands of the Department of Homeland Security. It will also help address root causes of migration on that hasn't been in past bills, as you probably well know. Anita. It was not in the bill in 2013, but it's something that he has been an advocate for in his time in public office, and it also has a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are living in the country. There are components of here in the bill that address a lot of the issues um, that have have not been addressed in the past and and certainly, um, the components of it that make that our talk about smart security are the kind of border security that we think is essential and more effective than what we've seen over the past couple of years. Good. Oh, can I go to the first and then to person? Go ahead. Follow president. Are about 100 million vaccines 1st 100 days started. That's roughly a per diem basis of where vaccinations are right now. Used to elaborate a little bit. Why President isn't setting the bar a little higher. Maybe a little fired other dogs just to explain. These are people who they see. The statistics interview. One tracker had 1.6 million yesterday. Why is the president a little bit hard, given the magnitude of the crisis here? Well, none of us are mathematicians, myself included. So asked our team to do a little math on this, so the Trump administration was given 36 million doses when they were in office for 38 days. They administered a total of about 17 million shots. That's about less than 500,000 shots a day. What we're proposing is to double that to about one million, uh, shots per day on. We have outlined this goal and objective in coordination and consultation with our health and medical experts. So it is ambitious. It's something that we feel is bold and was called that certainly at the time on were working overtime to help to achieve it, try to achieve it. But its president Thio, obviously we try to exceed that impossible is impossible. We may see a couple of weeks or months that the president got that goal. Well, there are a lot of factors that go into determining how many shots can get into the arms. Americans. We feel, uh, confident we can achieve this goal. Obviously, there are other vaccines that are being considered at this point in time by the FDA. Um, there is funding that will be needed for distribution. There are a number of steps that will help expedite at some point in time. But right now our focus is on what many health, health and medical experts have consistently called a bold goal. I will note also that some of the reporting this morning, which Kristen asked about earlier was that the Trump Administration left us with no plan. It's hard for them to both be exactly true at the same time. And our team has been putting together a plan our own planet's Dr Fauci talked about for some time to achieve this goal. Uh, but he also mentioned that there are a number of challenges. It's not just about lining people up, as you all know, but for people watching uh, in a football stadium and giving them shots, we have to overcome vaccine hesitancy. We have to get Thio health communities where they don't have access to health centers. That was outlined. A number of steps to address that were outlined in the president's plan today. Um, but you know, we this is a bold goal. We're gonna work every day to achieve it, and we'll build from there. There's a lot more of the administration to go from there, and we're work on covert to be done. Go ahead. Christian President Biden is reversing a number of former President Trump's policies, and we're seeing some of former President Trump's staffers being placed on leave or be reassigned. Is there an attempt to purge Trump officials. Well, there's a new administration, so obviously there are a number of new officials in place. Uh, I know there was some reporting, for example, and I don't know if this is where you're referencing. So you tell me, if not of the head of the NLRB, Um, that's an individual who was not, um, carrying out the You know, anyone would tell you. Not just from our administration uh, the objectives of the NLRB. And so they were. They're no longer in their position, and we'll take make those decisions as needed. Haven't writ large, but you're assessing reassessing. Well, Azaz. You know what a new administration comes in? There's a massive change over and political appointees and nominees and and people who will serve in a variety of roles. There are some people, um, Christopher Wray as an example, I'll just bring him back up who will continue to serve in his role. Uh, but, uh, we have great value for career officials for three officials who have been the heart and soul of agencies across government since long before the Trump administration. But who has served through the Trump administration as well? I'm Kobe Question. Did the transition. Officials know before yesterday that Amazon wanted to get involved in such a meaningful way we saw Not that I'm aware of. I'm happy to check. I mean, when the reporting came out, I asked the question, and I think, uh, internally. And you know, what was conveyed to me, and I don't think we discussed this yesterday was that we've had a lot of outreach. Um, some privately, some publicly from a range of businesses and private sector entities. And we certainly welcome that. And we'll be considering all of those offers and what makes the most sense in our plans and proposals. So because there's some Trump officials saying they were never offered help from Amazon. And so they're essentially saying they think this was a political call for Amazon toe wait while lives were hanging in the balance. But you're saying that is not the case? I'm not aware of the timeline of when Amazon reached out. That sounds like a question for Amazon to me. Joe, what did you think about all the pardons that Trump handed out on his way out the door? And do you know if the DOJ or anyone is reviewing any of those. Well, as you know, we nominated an attorney general just a couple of weeks ago. Merrick Garland were eager to get him confirmed, Um, in the coming weeks. Hopefully soon. Uh, our view on the pardons, Jennifer, is that it's not the way it's not a model for how a Biden Justice Department would work. It's not a model I should say for how president Biden would use his own power. He would use his own power far more judiciously. But we're looking forward, Um, and most important for us and for him is that the Justice Department Azzawi look ahead is independent makes decisions of their own accord, including their review of any investigations or judicial steps that have been taken. Thank you. I think we're about to conclude it here, but because it's my second day, let's take two more questions. Go ahead on the back attorneys. It is the president going toe. Listen to the pardon Attorney President Bush told President Obama that you should use the pardon power early on, but we know that, uh, that the pardon power has been in disrepute in the last week because of President Trump's pardons. what is present buying. Gonna try to lose power quickly. Forge, you said judiciously. What? What's his take going to be? Well, judiciously. And I'm not saying you're conveying this, but just for clarity is not meant to convey speed. It's just meant to convey how he approaches it. As you know, he has a long history on, uh, judicial issues, having served as the chairman of the Judiciary Committee many years ago. But on day two, I don't have any prediction for you in terms of how he would use a pardon, pardon, attorney's or the role. But he has great respect for and value for independence. As you know, um, and for the role of the judiciary on the independence of that role. Okay, last last. E appreciate it. I'm gonna bounce off stuff here. Conversations that may or may not have happened. Can you tell us what President Biden spoken to the Fed chair? Jay Powell. If he hasn't, does he have any plans on speaking to him at any point in the near future? And generally speaking, how does the president view the stewardship of the Fed chair during this economic crisis? I don't have any calls to read out for you or to predict for you with the chairman of the Federal Reserve. He clearly has a great deal of respect and value for the Federal Reserve and the role they've played historically given he nominated the former chair to serve as the first female treasury secretary. Um, but I don't have anything more for you. I'm convention to get more for you from our economic team. Thank you, everyone. I'll see you again tomorrow. Thanks. Sorry. They haven't I? Yeah, okay.