Sep 8, 2022

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 9/07/22 Transcript

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 9/07/22 Transcript
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Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 9/07/22. Read the transcript here.

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Karine Jean-Pierre: (00:00)
Good afternoon, everybody. Okay. All right. So today we have two new guests with us in the briefing room. Our monkeypox response coordinator, Bob Fenton and deputy coordinator Dr. Demetre, are here with us to provide an update on our progress against the monkeypox outbreak and take a few questions. And I will have, Bob, you want to go first?

Bob Fenton: (00:28)
Thank you.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (00:29)
All right.

Bob Fenton: (00:32)
Well, good morning and thanks for having me and Dr. Daskalakis here in the briefing room today. We wanted to provide an update on the progress we’re making in fighting the monkeypox outbreak. As we announced a couple weeks back, we have ample supply to vaccinate the highest risk individuals against monkeypox. Nearly all jurisdictions have moved toward the intradermal vaccine approach, which means that jurisdictions have effectively transitioned toward an approach that has gotten not only more shots into arms, but also without sacrificing the safety and effectiveness of the JYNNEOS vaccine. In fact, over 70% of all vaccines being administered in the United States today are given intradermally. Our focus now is to reach the remainder of the eligible population where they are at trusted locations and events across the country. And equity has to be a key point and priority embedded in throughout our response.

Bob Fenton: (01:33)
This past week when we saw how successful that approach is. Because of our direct allocations for Southern Decadents in New Orleans, Black Friday in Atlanta, and Oakland Pride, thousands of shots were administered during these events. In fact, over 3000 doses were administered at Southern Decadence and their affiliated events, and nearly 4000 doses were administered at Black Pride in Atlanta. That means thousands of individuals are getting their protection against monkeypox that they may not have otherwise. These events demonstrate our strategy is working.

Bob Fenton: (02:15)
We’re also accelerating our effort to provide vaccines to places and people that we know will make a difference. As Dr. Daskalakis announced last week, we are launching a new program that allows local health departments to request vaccines to use innovatively through strategies to reach black and brown communities. And today we’re announcing that we’re providing more vaccines to upcoming pride events across the country. First to Idaho, where 820 doses will be made available for the weekend of Boise Pride and second, 10,000 doses to California ahead of the Folsom Street Fair, the Castro Street Fair in San Francisco toward the end of this month. We will continue to pull every lever and meet people where they are to end this outbreak. And we’re already seeing progress as Dr. Daskalakis will brief out here in a little bit. Sir.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (03:16)
Thanks, Bob.

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (03:18)
Thank you, Bob. We are encouraged by the progress that we’re making right now. You’ll see the chart to my left. We only have data from 35 jurisdictions. That’s just over half of all jurisdictions that are directly receiving vaccine, but over 460,000 doses have been administered. Keep in mind, the population at highest risk is approximately 1.6 million people right now. So even with this partial view we have now from the reporting jurisdictions, we’re seeing strong progress really getting shots into arms. So now that supply is less of an issue, we need to make sure we focus on maintaining demand by making sure that people know that effective and safe vaccine is available for those that could benefit. Alongside our vaccination efforts, we’ve scaled up access to testing and treatments as well as ensuring that LGBTQAI+ individuals know how to reduce their risk. Together, those efforts are leading to positive trends in the data that CDC has collected over the last couple of weeks, especially in our hardest hit areas.

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (04:27)
So as you can see, the week over week growth rates of the virus, meaning how quickly the virus is spreading, is trending downward in some of the areas involved earliest in the outbreak. Places like New York, California, Texas, and Illinois are all seeing significant declines in growth rates over the last month. To put a finer point to it, back in July, CDC estimated that it took eight days for cases to double nationwide. By mid-August, the doubling rate was 25 days, showing encouraging signs of progress. The positive trends that we’re seeing in this data also speak to the actions that individuals have taken across the country to protect themselves against the virus. That includes changing their behaviors and seeking out testing and vaccines.

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (05:19)
But the data also underscores the fact that we cannot be complacent and we must aggressively continue our work to get clear prevention guidance and vaccines out to individuals in communities where the virus continues to spread quickly, and those places and individuals that may face barriers in accessing testing, treatments and vaccinations. So that’s why our approach centered on increasing vaccine access, including through equity interventions and event allocations in partnership with our outreach and engagement efforts, will continue to be critical as we fight this outbreak. Thank you.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (05:54)
All right, I’m take a couple questions. Okay.

Speaker 1: (06:00)
Thanks. I had two really fast. First colleges are back in session. HHS told me last week that if they begin to see an outbreak on a college campus, they’ll work to make vaccines more available. I guess this is to either of you, but my question is, what proactive steps are you taking to make sure there is not an outbreak on a college campus?

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (06:17)
So we’re really excited that we’ve taken a lot of steps before colleges came in session, which included creating a toolkit that was for universities. I personally got to talk to all of the folks that run the health services at universities, and that we’ve also had engagements with the higher executives of the universities to make them aware of the resources that we have. So that includes a combination of CDC resources that focus on congregate settings, as well as really clear information about safer sex as well as how vaccines are accessible and available. So it’s really a multi-layer approach where we provide appropriate information, make sure that it goes to the right folks, and that also that we give resources to not only figure out what the behavioral interventions need to be on college campuses, but also what biomedical things like vaccine can be used in the event of cases.

Speaker 1: (07:05)
I have one more, so are you guys really concerned about this?

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (07:08)
So the risk in colleges is extremely low. So I think that we’re concerned because obviously we want to make sure that if there is a case in college that everyone knows what to do. But realistically, given the way that this virus is spreading through the population, the risk in those settings is low. Awareness is more important than anxiety.

Speaker 1: (07:25)
If I can just ask my one other question. The CDC is reporting fewer and fewer cases recently among men, fewer and fewer cases among men who recently had sex with men, roughly 66% down from 95% two months ago. So my question is, do you guys think that that data is a reflection of just more testing or is it possible that this is spreading more easily, that the risk of catching it is different and higher than originally thought?

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (07:48)
No, I think that what that data really shows is (a) that the population of men who have sex with men, we’re seeing decreasing infections among them, and also it represents other mechanisms of transmission that may not be sex, but could be other close contacts, so close contact in households, et cetera. So I think it’s something to watch, but I don’t think that it’s a harbinger of meaning that the virus is doing anything different right now.

Speaker 2: (08:13)
Is the goal to eradicate monkeypox from the population or is this something that we’re, just like COVID, going to be living with for some time?

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (08:23)
Our goal is to really control this outbreak in the US. I think that we’ve seen really important strides in the right direction by creating more coverage in the populations that are at risk. Sort of creating that sort of level of immunity will be really important in us, but also thinking about the global environment and making sure that we don’t just address what’s happening in the US but also think about the rest of the world because infections that happen there will affect us as well.

Speaker 2: (08:48)
And when it comes to the funding and resources that you guys have available at this point, how long will it be before those go out and you have to get more from Congress?

Bob Fenton: (09:01)
Well, we’re working right now with Congress on the supplemental as part of the CR to identify additional funding needed both in vaccine supply to not only replenish what has been used out of the stockpile, which is critical if there was another event for the security of the nation, but also to provide additional vaccine and have it more available if needed during this event. Also, there’s a number of other things that we’re pursuing, including technology with testing, research to continue to watch this event and study as it progresses, to include other types of… Looking at the treatments that are being provided and those kind of things. So we have enough money right now to make the key decisions we need to make. As this progresses, we need to replenish what we’ve used and be able to have additional funding to keep the fight going.

Speaker 2: (09:54)
How much longer will you have this funding before you have to ask them?

Bob Fenton: (10:00)
Well, we’re asking for more right now as part of the supplemental, as part of the CR. So one would assume that as it goes into the end of the fiscal year, we’d be looking to hopefully working with Congress to get that additional money to make those investments in our stockpile and to make sure that we’re able to replenish what’s been used plus have additional funding if needed.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (10:24)
Okay. Thank you.

Speaker 3: (10:24)
Thank you guys for doing this. Doctor, I think this question is for you, as a result of this outbreak, there has been the expression of real concern in the gay community, the LGBTQ+ community, about a stigmatization specifically related to gay men. So what specifically can you say as it relates to those concerns of a new stigma being attached to gay men across this country due to monkeypox?

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (10:48)
I guess I’ll start by saying it’s the role of governmental public health and government to really model excellent behavior on that. And I think we’re really proud of the work that we’ve done to create non-stigmatizing language to inform people what they need to do to stay healthy. So I think that that’s the first step, which is really making sure that we’re modeling the right behavior and that we’re putting out materials that speak to the community in a way that doesn’t stigmatize them. I think it’s all of our responsibility and I think that we as sort of the role model in that it’s really important.

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (11:15)
But I think that in media, in the way that we communicate with our students and universities, in the ways that we communicate with others that need to know about this, really making it clear that this is a virus. It’s like, I’d like to say a piece of DNA wrapped in some fat. It’s not smart. It can’t distinguish between people based on their sexual orientation or gender. And so everyone needs to be aware, but we need to make sure that we’re messaging appropriately to the folks who are overly represented in the outbreak.

Speaker 3: (11:38)
And to be clear though, for those who are sort of embracing this stigmatization, this is, as we’ve witnessed in other diseases of impact in particular the gay community, this is not by a handshake, this is not by going into a restroom. Can you help clarify the confusion that exists, the misperceptions.

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (11:54)
Yeah. So I think this virus transmits through very close skin to skin physical contact, often in the setting of sexual exposure. But there are other mechanisms for its transmission, including if you touch objects that individuals who’ve had monkeypox touch or if you have prolonged exposure to respiratory droplets. With that said, signaling to people who are in the gay, bisexual, other men who have sex with men communities and also transgender people who have sex with men, that it’s really important to have awareness that it’s circulating in the community is really a critical part of the messaging while not generating inordinate concern and really focusing on the infection as linked to an identity. So it’s just an infection. It’s not linked to an identity. It just happens to be in the social network.

Speaker 4: (12:38)
I do want to dig deeper into the racial disparity because it’s growing week by week, fewer and fewer cases are being seen among white people, more among people of color. I think it’s something close to 75% now. You mentioned it’s a priority. What specifically are you doing to reach out to people of color?

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (12:51)
No, it’s great. I think that the core work that we’ve done to reach out to people of color really begins with the fact that we’ve made vaccine accessible. So the first step in addressing a lot of the equity issues and gaps that we see in vaccination is really about making vaccine available. That means the new strategy, the intradermal strategy, making sure we have more vaccine, all of the work to create more vaccine to bring to the US as well as to fill and finish in the US has been really important.

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (13:17)
But we also have all of these equity interventions that include these large events. I think Bob just told you about a couple of really large ones that have been frankly, wildly successful with thousands of vaccines that went to the community. We’ve also gotten vaccines to community health centers as well as to Ryan White sites that really serve this population. So the low hanging fruit is done. The folks who are early adopters for this vaccine have gotten it, and now we’re really onto the next level, which is making sure that everyone who needs it gets it.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (13:47)
Just a couple more. April. And then Jeff, you’ll be the last question.

Speaker 5: (13:50)
So I want to follow up on what Steven just asked. What organizations are you working with, particularly those in the black and brown community that can help get the message out and then once you work with them, what is the expectation of these organizations to help you lessen the numbers even more radically?

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (14:11)
Excellent question. So from the very beginning, before I was even at the White House working at the CDC, one of our primary objectives was engaging with organizations that serve the black and brown community. And so those have been going on since the very beginning and a lot of the communication there has been about really facilitating the materials that they need to be trusted messengers as well as to provide them important tools to help their communities. I’ll give some great examples.

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (14:38)
So for example, many of the events that we worked with at Black Pride in Atlanta, we interacted directly with organizations, the local jurisdictions in fact interacted with those. And that’s really what the story of success is about with these events. It’s not about just the vaccine allocation, it’s about that intense community engagement that happens on the ground, because ultimately public health is a local event. And so giving the tools that people need to be able to reach health goals is what we’ve been doing. And the support of organizations that serve black and brown people have been pivotal in really turning the tide, and what I think you’re going to see the new vaccine numbers emerging over the next few weeks.

Speaker 5: (15:16)
I know you said Black Pride Atlanta, but are there any other organizations that you can mention?

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (15:21)
So Black Pride is just the event, we actually worked with many organizations. We’ve actually engaged with national organizations that are umbrella organizations that focus on community based groups that serve black and brown folks. So really it’s a long, long list, but it is a continuous piece of work to make sure that we stay engaged.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (15:41)
Okay, Jeff, last question.

Speaker 6: (15:42)
Thank you. You mentioned right here, you mentioned the rest of world. Can you a sense of where you see outbreaks elsewhere on the globe, the threats that that creates to the US and whether or not you are sharing vaccine and whether or not you need to.

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (15:59)
So I’ll start, maybe Bob, you can also fill in. So I think that you really, when we’re discussing vaccine in sort of…

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (16:03)
Maybe Bob, you can also fill in. I think that when we’re discussing vaccine and sort of strategy, the global part of this is important and I think we have a new team that has joined the response, our coordination team that focuses on global, and we’re having the conversations about how we can best support global vaccine efforts.

Speaker 7: (16:18)
Yeah, working with USAID as one of the leads in the State Department. In the White House national security staff area, we’ve established a global task force across multiple different federal agencies to focus coordination to other countries and WHO to ensure that we have a responsibility to assist and help some of those countries that may not have the resources to do that. And so working through WHO to determine who that is and what we can make available to support some of their efforts, not only in terms of vaccine and in terms of some of our public education outreach from our technical expertise that exists here in the United States. And so working closely with those organizations to be able to support them.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (17:08)
Thank you guys. Thank you guys.

Speaker 8: (17:08)
Can I follow up very quickly that one on international, all other countries, Karine.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (17:13)
Okay. We’re going to continue. We’re going to continue. We’re going to continue. They’ll be back. Thank you guys so much.

Speaker 7: (17:18)
Thank you.

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis: (17:19)
Thank you.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (17:19)
Thank you. Appreciate it. Okay. Today, the UN Security Council is holding a meeting on Russia’s filtration efforts, a dehumanizing term to describe the Kremlin’s efforts to imprison forcibly or deport or disappear those individuals who Moscow decides could be insufficiently compliant or compatible to its control over Ukraine.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (17:46)
Our intelligence shows that Russia is using filtration centers in Eastern Ukraine and Western Russia to detain, to interrogate, and in some cases, abuse, thousands of Ukrainians. Many of the news organizations in this room have reported on this horrific practice and told the stories of Ukrainian citizens who have experienced these filtration centers. Today, Ambassador Thomas Greenfield will present newly down graded information that the UN Security Council that the United States has information that officials from Russia’s presidential administration are overseeing and coordinating filtration operations.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (18:31)
Russian presidential administration officials are providing lists of Ukrainians to be targeted for filtration and receiving reports on the scope and progress of operations. We assess that the Kremlin views filtration operations as crucial to their efforts to annex areas of Ukraine under their control. At the UN today, Ambassador Thomas Greenfield will demand that Russia halt its filtration operations immediately and allow the UN independent observers and humanitarian and human rights organizations access to these filtration sites and to those who have been sent to Russia.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (19:15)
As we announce this morning, next Monday on the 60th anniversary of President Kennedy’s moonshot speech at Rice University, President Biden will deliver remarks at the JFK Library in Boston, Massachusetts laying out a vision for another American moonshot, a future where we send cancer as we know it, we end cancer as we know it. As president and vice president, Joe Biden has led this cancer moonshot effort with the goal in February, 2022, President Biden reignited the cancer moonshot and set new goals.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (19:55)
First, to cut the cancer death rate in half over the next 25 years. Second, to improve the experience of people, their families and caregivers living with and surviving cancer. During his speech at the JFK Library in Boston, on September 12th, President Biden will lay out that vision and provide an update on steps the Biden Harris administration is taking to achieve this generation’s moonshot, not only to end cancer as we know it, but to change people’s lives, improving their health and decreasing the burden of the disease.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (20:33)
And finally, this week, we know a lot of kids are going back to school, and we know that the case in Uvalde, Texas. Our message to the Uvalde community is the same as it was the day of the shooting and when the president visited the community. The whole nation is with you and always. This is a painful and challenging time for the Uvalde community. The president is thinking of the students, parents, teachers, and community members this week. And our message to the nation is we will not rest until we can make schools safe again, or safe places. Okay, with that, [inaudible 00:21:14].

Speaker 9: (21:15)
Thank you. Can you talk about how involved President Biden at the White House in trying to ensure that the same sex marriage bill passes in the Senate this month? Do you believe that it can pass and get 60 votes in the coming weeks?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (21:29)
Well, as you know, I know there’s a legislative pathway that’s being discussed currently in Congress so we’ll let leadership decide how to move forward with that. But the president is a proud champion of the right for people to marry whom they choose, who they love. And he believes it is non-negotiable and the Senate should act swiftly to get this to the president’s desk.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (21:57)
When the bill passed Congress in the House recently, he put out a SAP, as you all know, supporting that piece of legislation. It has his full support. And I just want to add, the president was one of the first leaders after the Dobbs decision leaked to sound the alarm about the imminent threat this meant to the right to marry, something he has continuously reminded the country of since.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (22:27)
So his team is going to continue to be closely connected and continue conversations with staff and members in Congress to make sure that we get this done. But again, this is something that he supports, this piece of legislation. And this is an issue when it comes to marriage equality that he has supported through his Senate days and as VP and now as president.

Speaker 9: (22:53)
One more [inaudible 00:22:55] question. Russia confirmed earlier today that President Putin will meet with President Xi next week in Uzbekistan. And obviously that’s one of President Xi’s first trips out of China since the pandemic began. And I’m wondering if the White House sees it as a concerning signal at all, that for his first major foreign trip, President Xi is choosing to meet with President Putin and what kind of message that sends to this White House.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (23:18)
And we have said this before, I’m not going to speak to reported meetings between other countries. That’s not something we’re going to do here. It’s not something we’re going to do from the White House. But we’ve made clear our concerns about the depth of China’s alignment and ties with Russia, even as Russia prosecutes a war of aggression on Ukraine, an unprovoked war, as we have said a brutal war. But again, I’m just not going to respond or make comments on a meeting that other countries are having with each other.

Speaker 10: (23:51)
Thanks, Karine. I’m going to follow up I guess on both of [inaudible 00:23:55] questions, first was on marriage equality. You said you’d leave it up to leadership. Is there a reason that you wouldn’t want it as part of the continuing resolution?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (24:04)
Again, when it comes to the mechanism, and we’ve said this before, it’s nothing new. When we’re asked about a process of a piece of legislation, when it comes to that process, that mechanism, the path forward, we leave that to the leadership.

Speaker 10: (24:18)
On President Putin, he also spoke today and said that he threatened to cut off all energy exports to the West if the US proceeded with its gas cap-

Karine Jean-Pierre: (24:31)
This is about the gas price.

Speaker 10: (24:35)
And so I’m wondering, are you concerned about that threat? Do you think it’s a legitimate threat? If so, does it change your strategy of moving forward on this, on the cap?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (24:44)
I think, and you’ve heard us say this before as well, is that this shows that Putin is again weaponizing energy by his very words, also by his actions. But the president and our partners in Europe predicted this playbook. We saw this coming and we have been preparing for months, and we have talked through the different processes of how this price cap could look.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (25:10)
So another thing that we have done is we set up a task force. You’ve heard us talk about this with the EU back in March, to work on ways to increase alternate sources of natural gas to Europe and help reduce Europe’s demand for Russian energy through increased efficiency and clean energy deployment. And so that is something that we’re going to continue to do to be helpful to Europe as they head into the winter months.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (25:36)
But this process of the task force already has had a positive effect as we’ve seen. Europe gas shortage will be full by the critical winter heating season. Germany will reach their target gas storage despite the Russian cuts ahead of schedule, and Europe as a whole will reach a significant higher level than last year.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (26:01)
So again, we prepared for this. We knew this was going to be part of the playbook in Russia weaponizing energy as they have been for the past several months. And so we will be prepared for this move.

Speaker 10: (26:12)
A last quick one. I know I saw the readouts between the president and the prime minister’s phone call last night. It made mention of the fact that they discussed the Northern Ireland protocols and I’m wondering if you can say specifically if the president discouraged her from abandoning the elements of that or give any more color to that conversation, sort of the tone and tenor of their talk.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (26:36)
I don’t really have too much more to add from the readout. Look, the president expressed it is a priority protecting the gains of the Belfast and the Good Friday agreement and preserving peace, stability, and prosperity for the people of Northern Ireland. Don’t have much more to add from that. Okay, I’m going to try and call the folks I haven’t. Go ahead.

Speaker 11: (26:56)
Thanks, Karine. Can you just follow-up on Justin’s first question, and I understand that storage supplies is truly up right now, but whether there’s a bad or unpredictable direction things can get significantly worse for Europe in terms of pricing for the people. How concerned is the White House right now about political instability in Prague and [inaudible 00:27:14] and what it might mean for the coalition going forward.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (27:17)
You mean in general the coalition as it relates to-

Speaker 11: (27:21)
As in the Western alliance pertains to Ukraine and whether or not political inability driven by energy cost increases could be very problematic.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (27:29)
You have seen the alliance and the strength of the alliance these past several months and a lot of that is because of the leadership of this president. We are going to continue to work on that partnership. We’re going to continue to work with our allies. As we have seen, NATO is going to expand by two and that’s because of what this president has been able to do.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (27:54)
One of the things that Russia, that Putin, that the Kremlin thought it was going to do is divide the West, make NATO weaker, and it did the complete opposite. And that is what we have seen for the past several months. And as you know, the president was in Europe recently, just before the summer and you saw the strength of that alliance. You saw the strength of that partnership, and we believe you’re going to continue to see that, and we’re going to continue to be in coordination.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (28:27)
I think the price cap, when the G7 finance ministries met last week, you saw them come together and put forth different pathways to the price cap. And so that is one way you see that alliance continuing as well. We know that there’s a lot more work to do, and we’ll keep looking for ways as gas increases in Europe, and to help bolster other sources of energy as well will work towards that where possible.

Speaker 11: (28:58)
But there’s no near term concern that there are fractures in terms of what has been a very united group of countries.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (29:03)
We are still very united. We continue to show that unity. Again, we have to remember Putin thought when he started this war, this brutal war, this unprovoked war, as I’ve said earlier before, as we have said many times from this podium, that he was going to divide the West, that he was going to make NATO weaker, and the opposite happened. It is stronger than it’s ever been before and we believe that will continue to grow that relationship.

Speaker 12: (29:36)
Following up on the question about the call with the new prime minister yesterday. Did a trade deal with the US and UK come up? Was that discussed?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (29:43)
The US, UK trade deal. So there is no formal linkage on trade talks between the US and the UK and the Northern Ireland protocol as we have said. But efforts to undo the Northern Ireland protocol would not create a conducive environment. And so that’s basically where we are with the dialogue.

Speaker 12: (30:05)
But did they discuss trade at all yesterday?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (30:06)
I don’t have much more than what was in the readout, but that’s where we’ve been with that.

Speaker 12: (30:11)
And will President Biden and meet with Prime Minister Truss when he’s at the General Assembly?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (30:15)
We don’t have a meeting or anything like that to readout at this time.

Speaker 13: (30:19)
Karine, The Washington Post, as you’d likely seen, reported that some of the files seized at Mar-a-Lago include material on foreign nations nuclear capabilities-

Karine Jean-Pierre: (30:25)
Bless you.

Speaker 13: (30:28)
Sweet gracious.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (30:33)
Take that outside, Ed.

Speaker 13: (30:35)
One more time.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (30:36)
Do you need a tissue?

Ed: (30:37)
No. We’re good.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (30:37)

Ed: (30:37)
Carry on.

Speaker 13: (30:42)
I’ll keep my mask on. Quickly, The Washington Post reports that files seized at Mar-a-Lago include material on foreign nations nuclear capabilities. I know you can’t speak specific to that investigation nor to the findings there. I know where the line is drawn at this White House as it relates to that. But what has this president specifically said, and has he held any calls with some of America’s allies or even adversaries on the issue of nuclear secret that the US may have some access to try to placate their concerns that that information is not in safe hands in the United States?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (31:13)
I can say this, we don’t have any calls to foreign governments to read out at this time on this particular issue. As you know, and I’ll reiterate this, you already kind of alluded, when it comes to this specific issue, as I’ve said many times, the ODNI is in the middle of an assessment and DOJ is in the middle of an ongoing criminal investigation so I’m not going to comment. But again, I don’t have any calls to readout to you.

Speaker 13: (31:39)
Let me ask separate from that then. Obviously this is not unique to this investigation. There’s been discussion that classified information was mishandled by the last administration, even before this investigation that we’ve been reporting on. At any point has the president had conversations with other nations to communicate to them that they should view that information as secure? What has he done to try to make that message clear to those allies or adversaries around the world?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (32:01)
Again, we don’t have any calls.

Speaker 13: (32:03)
What are those allies or adversaries around the world?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (32:03)
Again, we don’t have any calls to-

Speaker 13: (32:04)
Has he in the past?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (32:05)
We don’t have any calls to any foreign government to read out to you at this time.

Speaker 13: (32:09)
From any time over the course of 18 months?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (32:11)
We don’t have any calls to read out at this time.

Speaker 13: (32:13)
Okay. Thank you.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (32:13)
Okay. I’m going to jump around. Go ahead.

Speaker 14: (32:16)
I wanted to ask about a decision today and by a judge in Texas who said the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that insurance plans cover HIV prevention drugs violate the religious freedom of a company. I wanted to see if you could comment on that decision and related to that, can you give us an update on your efforts to update the last administration’s rule allowing employees … employers with religious objections and moral concerns to not include birth control in their plans they offer?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (32:43)
As for that decision, I’ll refer you to the Department of Justice on that particular decision. We will have a statement from here. I just don’t have anything to share at this time.

Speaker 14: (32:53)
Any update on the rewriting the rules from the last administration on-

Karine Jean-Pierre: (32:58)
With that as well, I will refer to the Department of Justice. I don’t have anything to share at this time.

Speaker 14: (33:02)

Karine Jean-Pierre: (33:02)
Okay. To the back.

Speaker 21: (33:05)
Yeah. Thanks, Karine. So, a federal judge talk about the social media lawsuits from Missouri and Louisiana; a federal judge ordered that you have 20 days to turn over emails communicating with social media companies over misinformation and disinformation. What are those emails going to show? What kind of communication?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (33:22)
I can’t comment. You’ve asked me this question last week. I can’t comment on any specifically ongoing litigation. And so, again, I’d refer you, we would refer you to Department of Justice.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (33:32)
A couple of things that I would say on just as a general matter on this, as we said over and over again, since the beginning of the administration in our battle against COVID-19, it has been critical for the American people to have access to factual, accurate, science-based information and ensuring that any media platforms have access to latest information on a once-in-a-generation pandemic is something that has been done since the earliest days of the pandemic, beginning under the former president, so this has happened under the former president. I cannot say more from here. It is an ongoing litigation, as you know, and so I would refer you to department.

Speaker 21: (34:15)
What about if those communications are still happening? Are there frequent contacts between administration and social media companies?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (34:22)
I’ll say this, as we have said before, there has been ongoing work, dating to the Trump administration, to provide accurate COVID information where folks get their news. Again, this is litigation that is ongoing and is currently happening, clearly, that’s why it’s ongoing, and so I refer it to department of justice on that.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (34:41)

Speaker 15: (34:43)
Karine, thank you. President Biden has said that not every Republican is a MAGA Republican. Would he consider Mitch McConnell a MAGA Republican?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (34:52)
I’m not going to go into specifics, name or people, from here. What I will say is when you go back to the speech, his speech last Thursday, people have talked about if it was divisive; it wasn’t divisive. The way that we saw this speech is that he was talking to majority of the country, who agree that we have to protect our democracy, who agree that we have to protect our freedom, who agree that we have to protect our rights, and the point of the speech was that he wanted to really point to an inflection point, an inflection time, that we were in at this time in our country.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (35:39)
He spoke very clearly. He talked about a minority, a small group of people, who have extreme views and who threaten, who threaten, that very, very value, core value, of who we are as a country. He also asked for people to come together. It didn’t matter if you were a Republican or independent or a Democrat. He asked for folks to come together and stand against what we were seeing, these attacks. You don’t have to look further than January 6th, 2021 to see what the attack was on our democracy. It was very clear. We all saw it. Many of you reported it that day. And when you have people who say the protestors on that day were patriots, that’s problematic; that’s coming from leaders and from that extreme part of the party. And so, that’s what he was talking about. He also ended the speech in a very optimistic way in trying to bring people together. And so, I’ll just leave it there at that time.

Speaker 16: (36:52)
Okay. Thank you, Karine. I have a couple of questions, but first, a little bit more detail on the [inaudible 00:36:57] cap. I’m just wondering why is it just now that you are speaking about this from the podium and why is it just now that the US is bringing this up at the UN security council? This is something that a lot of activists groups have written about in past weeks. I believe secretary Anthony Blinken has also spoken about it since July, so I’m just wondering about the timing of it.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (37:18)
So, as you know, this is information that was downgraded information. And so, as you know, from past times, it takes some time to do that. Don’t have much more to say it takes time to do that. I’m not going to go into our process. I’m not going to go into how our intelligence community moves in that process, but again, we’re providing it now and we wanted to make it very clear on how we feel about this, how we’re holding Russia accountable for the atrocities that they are committing, and we’re going to continue to do so.

Speaker 16: (37:59)
A couple of questions on China: can we get the administration’s response to Beijing’s accusation that NSA hacked a Chinese military university research?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (38:08)
Say that again?

Speaker 16: (38:10)
There is an accusation from Beijing that the NSA hacked Chinese university research facilities. Is there any response from the administration?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (38:18)
I would refer you to [NSA 00:38:21] on these claims from China, but generally speaking, it would not be surprising to me that, or to us, that China is deflecting from its own malicious cyber activities, on which there is extensive reporting on from the private sector and governments around the world. But again, this is something that I refer to you to NSA on.

Speaker 16: (38:41)
Thank you. One more on China, please. Is the administration still considering stopping Nicaraguan imports? There is some reporting, including from our side, on that, particularly in light of the country potentially taking steps to sign a free trade agreement with China.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (38:57)
Say that … I didn’t hear the beginning.

Speaker 16: (38:59)
Is the administration still considering stopping imports from Nicaragua? There’s some reporting on this that we’ve also done in recent weeks, particularly in light of the potential free trade agreement between Nicaragua and China.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (39:14)
The free trade agreement. Okay. So, look, we are going to, as we’ve mentioned before when it comes to this, there has been a dramatic deterioration, as you know, of respect of democratic principles, and we’ve talked about this before in human rights by the Ortega-Murillo regime in Nicaragua. I think we had this conversation last week in the briefing room, including the harassment and imprisonment of democratic leaders, members of the political opposition, students, faith leaders, and journalists, in addition to the regime’s increased relations with Russia, poses risk to the security of the hemisphere with members of the international community. We have already taken a number of actions to promote accountability for the Ortega-Murillo regime’s actions and will continue to do so, but at this time we don’t have new actions to announce.

Speaker 16: (40:07)
You’re not confirming that you’re stopping-

Karine Jean-Pierre: (40:10)
Just don’t have any new actions to announce.

Speaker 16: (40:12)
Thank you.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (40:12)
But we’ve talked about this many times. I know you’ve asked this question. I’m going to go around. Go ahead.

Speaker 17: (40:18)
Thank you so much, Karine. Two questions. One about the president election that’s coming up in 25 days. Senator Bernie Sanders, team Kane, and all Democrats are about to introduce a resolution to show support for free and fair election in Brazil, and to call on the US to break ties with Brazil if the result is not respected. Is the White House in contact with the senators and support this kind of resolution?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (40:48)
I don’t have any conversation to provide to you at this time with any members of Congress, but as it relates to the Brazilian election, we’re going to continue to monitor them. The United States trust in the strength of Brazil’s democratic institutions. Brazil has a strong track record of free and fair elections, which are conducted with transparency and high levels of voter participation. The elections that have been conducted by Brazil’s capable and time-tested electoral system and democratic institutions serve as a model for nations in the hemisphere and across the world.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (41:24)
As a partner, a democracy to Brazil, the United States will follow the October elections with great interest. As I just said, we’re going to monitor and with full expectations that they will be conducted in a free, fair, and credible manner with all relevant institutions operating in accordance with their constitutional role. Again, we’re just going to monitor the upcoming Brazilian elections. Don’t have any calls or meetings to read out.

Speaker 17: (41:52)
But this kind of resolution is something the White House supports?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (41:56)
I’m not going to get into any specific resolutions or any specific policy or plans. What we’re going to do is we’re going to continue to monitor and keep an eye on it.

Speaker 17: (42:07)
Another one on the UN general assembly, that our talk is the President Zelensky could come to New York to participate. It is the White House aware of this, is talking to Ukraine about this, is possible?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (42:18)
I would leave that to president Zelensky. We’re not going to comment on his travel.

Speaker 17: (42:22)
Do you have a-

Karine Jean-Pierre: (42:23)
That’s for him to speak to. We’re not going to speak to that.

Speaker 17: (42:25)
Did the White House invite President Macron here around the general assembly?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (42:30)
Nothing to read out to you on any upcoming meetings with any of the foreign leaders that are coming.

Speaker 17: (42:35)
Thank you.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (42:36)
Okay. I’m going to keep going. Go ahead, in the back.

Speaker 18: (42:40)
Thank you.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (42:40)
And then I’ll come back.

Speaker 18: (42:41)
Just like Peter mentioned earlier on, I know that the White House is not going to comment on the specifics of raid at Mar-a-Lago or the subsequent investigation, but I’m wondering as the president watches this story play out in the news, just like every other American, does he think that the leaks about the investigation are helpful or harmful to the country? Does he want those leaks to continue or to stop?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (43:06)
I’m not going to comment on anything that’s related to the investigation. It’s an ongoing investigation as you know; the Department of Justice is leading that investigation. We’re just not going to comment from here.

Speaker 18: (43:17)
And then, one more: last Friday, the energy secretary said of green technology in California that that state was in the lead and showing the rest of the nation how it’s done. The state is currently bracing for blackouts, they’ve set ambitious goals, and yet in particular their governor is asking folks that not to charge their electric vehicles. Does the president agree that California is an example for the rest of the country as it transitions?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (43:47)
I haven’t seen those specific statements. I would like to see it in fuller context that the secretary has made, so I’m not going to comment on something that I haven’t seen in full. But if you have another question, I’m happy to take it.

Speaker 18: (43:58)
Sure. So, by my count, the White House, you’ve gotten a lot done this summer. Certainly, there’s-

Karine Jean-Pierre: (44:10)
Really? Have we? I think we’ve said that a few times.

Speaker 18: (44:14)
The president has a lot-

Karine Jean-Pierre: (44:17)
You guys have reported it, too.

Speaker 18: (44:17)
The president-

Karine Jean-Pierre: (44:17)
Yu guys have backed this up.

Speaker 18: (44:18)
Well, all of your accomplishments aside, the president still hasn’t done a sit-down interview in over 200 days. Is he dodging us? Is there a reason why?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (44:27)
Oh, absolutely not. The president loves talking to you. He takes your questions all the time. He took Peter’s question last Friday. I’m sure Peter was excited about that question.

Speaker 13: (44:36)
I have another.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (44:39)
No, he actually took another question when we were traveling.

Speaker 18: (44:45)
But in all seriousness, a sit-down interview is much different than when the president-

Karine Jean-Pierre: (44:45)
No. I hear you. I hear you. The president’s going to … He is happy to talk to you all. As you know, he does it multiple times during the week. I don’t have a sit-down interview to announce or provide or schedule at this time. And look, you guys know Joe Biden. He’s been the Senator for 46 years. He was vice president for eight years and you guys have followed him and have had multiple conversations, some of you, sit-down conversations with him, and once we have something to share, we will share that.

Speaker 18: (45:24)
Thank you, Karine.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (45:24)
Okay. All right.

Speaker 19: (45:24)
Thank you so much. On Iran this morning, the administration warned of further action after the cyber attack on Albania, and I wanted to know what kind of further action could that be, and do you expect it to be only an American action or maybe a coordinated set of sanctions with other NATO countries?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (45:47)
So, we’ll … NATO allies will make their own sovereign decisions about how to respond to the cyber attacks, including whether to invoke … I know people have asked about … Article 5, and so that will be up to the NATO allies. As you know, there’s a process in this; there are multiple processes before we can get to invoking Article 5. So, again, that’s something that the NATO allies are going to have to discuss.

Speaker 19: (46:18)
Would the administration support invoking Article 5-

Karine Jean-Pierre: (46:18)
Again, this is not … This is part of NATO allies to decide on, and so our role here is to support Albania’s efforts to hold Iran accountable and work with Albania to strengthen its cybersecurity and reinforce norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace. That is what we’re we’re going to do and be a helpful ally in that way.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (46:43)
Okay. Go ahead, Steven, and then I’ll come to you.

Speaker 20: (46:47)
Thanks. The water pressure in Jackson, Mississippi, has been restored, but it remains a perilous situation with boil water advisory in effect again. The president said last week he had no plans to travel to Jackson. Does that remain the case?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (47:00)
So, as you know, the EPA administrator is in Jackson right now. He’s supposed to be doing a press gaggle. I think it may have happened already while I was here with all of you. He was in … He’s there today and he has had a press gaggle, I believe, with the mayor and also the governor. I don’t have a trip to read out to you. I do want to say FEMA, EPA, and the US Army Corps of Engineers continue to partner with officials there to help distribute water, expedite the delivery of equipment to repair the water treatment facility, and support with safety inspections the emergency declaration signed by this president just last week or so. It includes reimbursement for drinking water and support for temporary repairs to the water system.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (47:50)
Just a couple of things I want to list out to date that we have done. 5.6 million bottles of water have been distributed at state run sites to date. FEMA has an additional five million liters of water available if requested.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (48:03)
Additional five million liters of water available, if requested, at nearby distribution centers. A call line is available for residents who need home water delivery. And the state, the private sector and volunteer organizations are also providing water to residents who cannot get distribution sites and both EPA and US army corps of engineers are onsite at O.B. Curtis Treatment Plant to assess the pumping system, wastewater infrastructure, electoral system, and safety concerns. Again, our administrator of EPA, Reagan, is there. The FEMA administrator Criswell was there recently as well as Mitch Landrieu was there on Friday. And so we have had an all hands on deck and being as very responsive to their needs and surging that response right after the declaration was requested and signed by the,

Speaker 4: (48:56)
It was not the first time the EPA administrator has gone down to Jackson to talk about this problem. He went last year. Why has the President decided, or seemingly decided, at least to this point, not to direct the nation’s attention himself to this problem. Over the next week, he’s going to Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan. We’ve traveled with him to New York, New Jersey, Kentucky, Texas, and the west to talk about natural disasters. This is a manmade disaster. Why doesn’t he use the power of the presidency to focus the nation’s attention?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (49:26)
I would say, Steven, that he has used the power of the presidency to focus on this particular issue. If you think about what happens to brown and black communities across the country, when it comes to environmental injustices, if you look at the bipartisan infrastructure law, if you look at the inflation reduction act, if you put those together, a hundred billion dollars is going to deal with that issue in communities like Jackson. And that’s going to go a very long way. That is an investment that we don’t see at all very often from a federal government, from a White House to be zeroed in on those issues of environmental injustices. This is part of the plan of this president to deal with that in a real serious way.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (50:18)
And we’re going to continue. We have worked closely with groups and organizations on other things that we can do to deal with these issues. And so we’re going to continue to do that. That’s why the bipartisan infrastructure law is so critical, is so important. It’s going to fix crumbling infrastructure like we’re seeing in Jackson, we’ve talked about the $400 million toward the American rescue plan for water upgrades across that particular, that very state. The city has allocated 20 million of its art funds for water and sewer infrastructure needs, $75 million through the bipartisan infrastructure law to support the state, to provide clean and safer water this year with an additional $429 million available to the state over the next five years. 30.9 million through the EPAs revolving loan funds for treatment and distribution system improvements for Jackson.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (51:16)
And so we have made this a priority. The reason why the EPA administrator has been there multiple times is because he has made that a priority in particular dealing with environmental justice issues that we see across the country. So he has used the power of the pen, if you will, to deal with this issue in a real way, by providing funding that’s been long needed in these communities. Yeah, [inaudible 00:51:43].

Speaker 22: (51:42)
Thank you, Karine. As refugees were being evacuated from Afghanistan into the US last year, why weren’t they all being thoroughly vetted?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (51:52)
So are you talking about … What are you referring to?

Speaker 22: (51:55)
Well, so as the White House was managing the Afghanistan withdrawal last year, we were told no one is coming into the United States of America who has not been through a thorough screening and background check process. But now there’s this DHS inspector general who says CBP admitted or paroled evacuees who were not fully vetted into the United States. That is not good. That is different than what you guys said. So how did this happen?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (52:21)
No, it’s not different than what we have said. That very report, it did not take into account the key steps in that rigorous, you’ve heard from us, rigorous and multi-layered screening and vetting process the US government took before at risk Afghans were permitted to come to the US. Again, I would refer you to the DHS comments on this. It did not take into full account of what the other agencies are involved in making sure that this multi-layered process and screening process. It is a multi-agency effort and not this particular report did not include that.

Speaker 22: (52:59)
Okay. But so in the last week or so we’ve heard the president calling elected Republicans a threat to the country. Does he think MAGA Republicans are more of a threat to the country than people DHS says may pose a risk to national security and the safety of local communities?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (53:17)
Again, DHS has disputed this report. And it said it didn’t take into account the key steps that we have taken as a US government. The rigorous multi-layered screening and vetting process that we take as a government. That was not part of the report. Again, this report is not accurate. I know that our team has spoken to your team about this and the DHS has provided a comment saying just that. So again, I refer it to DHS.

Speaker 23: (53:47)
Karine, a question on Somalia.

Speaker 24: (53:47)
Thanks, Karine. The Obamas were here today.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (53:53)

Speaker 24: (53:55)
Before the event in the East Room, can you give us any color about what the Bidens and the Obamas did together.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (54:00)
Yeah. One thing I can say, and I believe one of the presidents mentioned it while they were speaking is they had lunch. They had lunch together and they caught up and they talked about their families and they’re very close. They’re good friends. Not only were they part partners for eight years, but they also became close friends as well, their families. And so I can say that they had lunch together.

Speaker 24: (54:27)
Where did they have lunch?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (54:28)
Oh, I don’t have specifics on where they had lunch, but they spoke to it. I can’t remember which one, one of the presidents spoke to them having lunch and catching up.

Speaker 24: (54:37)
Okay. And just one other topic following up on Peter’s question. Can the United States assure it’s allies that their nuclear secrets are safe?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (54:51)
I know you guys have a lot of interest in this, and I know this is a question that is more broader question, but I want to be very clear, from here we cannot comment or we will not comment on anything related or close to the independent investigation. And I’m just not going to comment on that. I’m going to go-

Speaker 25: (55:24)
Only one or two more.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (55:25)
Oh, okay. One or two. Let me call on folks I haven’t called. Karen.

Speaker 26: (55:28)
Just to go back to the $47 billion in funding that the White House had requested last week. COVID, Ukraine, monkeypox, natural disasters. Can you give us an update on what the White House is doing right now? The conversations that are being had with lawmakers to try and push that through? Is the President having conversations with lawmakers? And is there something that if there’s a sense that something has to get dropped, what’s the priority of that list right now?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (55:54)
So I’m not going to get into a priority of list. Look, the way we see this is our job is to tell Congress what we need to protect the American people, what we need to get things moving as we look at the different components here. And so when it comes, for example, when it comes to COVID funding, we have been clear that without additional funding, we would have to make a different trade offs and repurpose a previously allocated funding. And that’s precisely what we’ve done. I’ve talked about the COVID testing we had to … And that process last Friday. And so we’ve been very, very clear on this, but the other piece of this too, is this is not new. We did this same process this time last year, and Congress was able to get that done.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (56:48)
So we don’t see this as a difficult process. We don’t see this as an uphill battle. We see this as that is very doable. And again, we are going to make the case with Congress. We’re going to engage. We’re going to do meeting, in person, with bipartisan members of Congress, from both the Senate and the House to talk about the consequences of inaction. To answer their questions to make clear that we cannot afford to not act in light of new sub-variants as we speak about COVID and how dire things could look like later this year if we don’t act, if we don’t get that extra funding. So again, we’re going to continue to make the case. We’re going to also actively talk to our governors and our stakeholders in this process as well. But again, we’ve done this before. We’ve been here, again, this time last year, and we think Congress can get this done in time.

Speaker 26: (57:48)
Just to be clear, the President will have those meetings with bipartisan members? Or is it staff?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (57:52)
When I say we, it’s going to be his staff. But as you know, the President, as we have said, regularly has conversations with members of Congress on an array of issues. But of course his staff is going to be continuously being active in having those conversation. And that includes the COVID response team. That includes our Office of Leg Affairs. That includes senior staff, an array of staff in this building who are directly dealing with the CR. Okay, I’m going to take one last question.

Speaker 23: (58:26)
Can I ask you a question on Somalia?

Karine Jean-Pierre: (58:28)
Well, I took your question yesterday. We try and pick somebody … Go ahead, SB, way in the back. I’ll be back tomorrow. I’ll be back tomorrow.

Speaker 23: (58:34)
People are dying [inaudible 00:58:35].

Speaker 27: (58:35)
Two [inaudible 00:58:36], Karine. First, not regarding the law enforcement part, but has the President been receiving briefings on what kind of national security damage might have been happening because of a security breach in South Florida? Since this first came to the attention of the national archives back in February.

Karine Jean-Pierre: (58:55)
So as you know, ODNI is doing their own assessment on this. We’re going to let them do that assessment. And do that work that they’re doing on this particular independent investigation that is happening, that DOJ is doing. The President has not been briefed. I’ve been very clear about that. He has not been briefed on this. None of us have been here, in the White House, has been briefed. We are just not going to comment on an independent investigation. That’s being done by the Department of justice. Again, ODNI is doing their own assessment and we’ll let them run that process.

Speaker 27: (59:30)
But on rhe ODNI part, shouldn’t the present be interested? And oh, so these-

Karine Jean-Pierre: (59:35)
It has nothing to do with interest. It has everything to do with ODNI doing their process and us letting them go through that process. Okay.

Speaker 27: (59:43)
And the second one, regarding the speech, there are Republicans who in good faith oppose abortion, Liz Chaney is one of them who the President has complimented and praised. She opposes abortion. So was it a mistake in retrospect to put that line into speech about choice when it was clearly referring to-

Karine Jean-Pierre: (01:00:04)
He’s also said that they have many differences when it comes to agenda and policies. He has said that as well. So he’s been very clear about that. Look, when you think about what happened with Dobbs, the Dobbs decision that was made on June 24th, it was something that was devastating to women, devastating to people’s lives. It was a right that existed, a constitutional right that existed for almost 50 years. And that was taken. That was an extreme act. And what ended up happening is you saw national Republicans say that they wanted a national ban to take away people’s right. To take away a woman’s decision to choose. That is something that we have to stand up against and speak out about and be very loud and clear that we have to fight for our freedoms and our rights. And so that’s what the President’s going to do. He is going to continue to protect women’s rights. And it’s going to lead, as it was made very clear in the Dobbs decision, we’re talking about contraception. We’re talking about privacy. We’re talking about marriage. This is going to open the door on so many other rights and freedoms that we all have as Americans. And the President’s going to continue to speak against that. We’ll see you tomorrow. Thanks everybody.

Speaker 27: (01:01:29)
Thank you, Karine.

Speaker 23: (01:01:29)
Anything on Somalia?

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