tv President Biden Meets with Black Essential Workers CSPAN February 24, 2021 2:42am-3:37am EST
worker and firefighter. this is close to an hour. >> it is great to be with you all today. there is no greater priority than tackling the covid-19 pandemic and rescuing our economy. we are here today to hear directly from you, frontline workers and first responders who are doing the very vital work and have borne the weight of the covid-19 pandemic. you are heroes and your service, we honor. a disproportionate number of black americans serve as
frontline workers, and as first responders, putting yourselves at greater risk of contracting covid-19. and one in four deaths from covid-19 have been those of black americans. so during this black history month, we wanted to say thank you to lift up your voices and your service and your needs. the president's american rescue plan is pass -- if passed by congress will bring an end to this pandemic. and it will invest in you and your fellow frontline workers and all americans so we can keep ourselves safe and rebuild our economy so that it works for everyone. mr. president, joining us here today are meet russ alfred, he gos by al -- al is a firefighter and e.m.t. in st. louis, missouri. we have melanie owens, a pharmacist in chicago. carmen palmer, a child care
worker in columbus, ohio. and jeff carter, a grocery store manager in cedar rapids, iowa. thank you for being here today and sharing your stories with us. mr. president, over to you. pres. biden: thank you. al, i have met you in the past. we are going to try to help you now, the firefighters and e.m.t.'s. melanie, i understand you're the second or third generation pharmacist in your family? is that right? >> yes. pres. biden: that's pretty impress i. carmen, you do what -- you do god's work, dealing with all those little kids, trying to figure out how you do it now, how you can safely open, how you can make it work. >> it's a pleasure dealing with children. pres. biden: i tell you what, we need you badly. and jeff, you have too many --
it was a ulls a debate whether i stop at a hy-vee or find a frozen custard stand, that's what we did in iowa. all kidding aside you all, you're basically holding the country together. i'm not being facetious, i'm being deadly earnest. you can see the looks on people's faces when they walk into your drugstore and they stand at the counter and they ask for a prescription, can't you? you can see the fear in their eyes, especially if they've gotten an unwelcome analysis like two of your family members have, al. so what i want to do today is, i want you to know, there's that old bad joke, i'm from the federal government, i'm here to help. but we are from the federal government and we want to help. we want to help a lot. there hasn't been most states, you're from four different
states and -- st. louis, chicago, columbus and cedar rapids. and every state, as you know, has a slightly different approach to how to deal with covid right now. we're trying to make sure they get all that they need, each of those states. and we're focusing as the former ambassador said, we're focusing on the needs particularly of the most left behind community. the african-american community. i mean, it really is, across the board. but in this area, specifically. as i might add are the latino communities being left behind, not as much, but similarly. and pacific islanders. so there's a lot of work to do. that's why we wan to talk to you, to see whether we're headed in the right direction. i'm here -- eager to hear what's on their minds, susan, see what you're think, what you think we
should be doing. and now i know the guy from iowa, jeff, he'll ask any questions because iowans are so spoiled, they can ask any presidential candidate -- can you sit down here and talk with me? i want to ask you some questions. but all kidding aside i'm anxious to hear what's on your mind, what you think we should be doing and maybe in the process ask a few questions and tell you the kinds of things we're doing to try to deal with what are, we think, i hope, are the problems of the people keeping us floating. you're the ones that keep us going. not a joke. you are the ones that keep us going. and kept the country going. you're carrying it on your back. so thank you for what you've done so far. got a lot more to do. susan: thank you, mr. president. i'd like to begin by introducing our first speaker, demetrius "al" alfred.
we would like to hear from each of you about your experiences. but al, first tell us about yourself. you're a 30-year firefighter and e.m.t. in st. louis. you're the president of your local union, and president also of the missouri state could be soifl firefighters. you and your fellow workers -- you and your -- state council of firefighters. you sapped your fellow workers -- pres. biden: before you start, you heard that expression, god made man and then he made a few firefighters. >> yes, sir. good afternoon, miss rice and mr. president. it's a pleasure to be here, an honor to speak to you and good to see you again, mr. president. we have met before, i enjoy your company every time. let me start out by saying, in st. louis, the firefighters have had a tough time with covid. going on calls, we've had to
change up our direction on protocol, masking up and six feet, social distancing. we've even changed some protocol that when we go on medical runs and get call, people trapped in a house, even fire, we approach them a little different. we have to wear facemasks. if we talk about the medical call, we have to wear facemasks and show up and then we don't send the entire crew in anymore. we try to send in one guy to check out the situation and if we can possibly get the patient to come outside and then do the assessment and things like that. so we have really had to make some changes. we had to really look toward the government, local and state and federal, to keep -- get our p.p.e. so we wouldn't -- so we could go on these calls and protect ourselves and protect the citizens and if you talk about the vaccine, we have been trying to get in line there,
here in missouri, and get as many guys vaccinated as possible. so we keep serbing the community. st. louis firefighters are here, we answer every call, we are resourceful, we adapt very well. we're ready to go. we just would like the support of my federal government, local, and state, to keep us afloat so we can have the equipment and things to keep us going, to do our job. we appreciate everything you guys do for us. pres. biden: al, let me ask you, if you had to identify one thing, you could wave a wand, one thing that could help your women and men in the firefighters and e.m.t.'s, what do you need the most? >> we would like to make certain we can get the funding, dun to the local level, and -- the fireds in particular. so like i said, if we can still
purchase the p.p.e. to sustain us, get our equipment and thicks like that. and most importantly, we'd like to get support so we couldn't have budget cuts or have to endure any pay cuts or layoffs. that's a big worry because like i said, we respond to everything. we show up, ready to go, very resourceful, we adapt very well. then after things are over, once the crisis has passed, it appears that sometimes the local government or management, however you want to look at it, finds that the department may be easy to cut because the crisis is over. that's one of our biggest concerns. so if you ask me if i had a magic wand, i would say that i'd wave that wand and make sure we get the proper funding to sustain our jobs so we can respond and help our community. pres. biden: that's what we do in this legislation we put together. and i hope it's going to pass.
we provide for resources, $350 billion for emergency funding for state, local and territorial governments. we got $340 -- we got 340 million people in america, we got a big country, what's happened is, a lot of states have decided that they -- because they have to balance their budgets, they can't continue to spend the same amount of revenue they were spending before. and what's happening is, a lot of everything from firefighters, to school teachers, to a whole range of people are being laid off. we're short 6,000 teachers. firefighters. and the only thing i know working with your outfit, al, for so long, is that the only thing that keeps firefighters safe is more firefighters. literally. literally. >> yes, sir. pres. biden: so you're being cut. we also find, provide for $160 billion for supplies.
and that would be everything from, you know, making sure we can scale vaccine distribution and testing, make sure everybody can get in there and have an opportunity to get the test, e.m.t.'s and firefighters are -- when we get that done, we're going to have one less crisis you have to deal with. but look. the funds we're talking about are designed to keep teachers and school workers on the job, including child care. invest in personal protective equipment. i understand from the story i was told that you have the personal protective equipment in st. louis but they don't have it in kansas city. the firefighters. and also to reduce, you know, just increase capacity. across the board. so you know, we owe you a lot. my family owes you particularly a lot. you literally, as you know, you saved my life, e.m.t.'s in my
state save midlife. got me down to a hospital in time to save my life and my boys, saved their lives too, with the jaws of life, much earlier. so we owe you big. what i want to do is make sure you get more specific -- i'll get more specific with you and find out that, you know, whether or not you have access to get in line. last thing, states set the priorities for who gets the vaccine. we have now gone from having a shortage of vaccines to by the end of july, we'll have over 600 million doses of vaccine. enough to take care of everybody in the country. and we're moving as the -- we're moving to make sure that
drugstores, pharmacies, are going to be able to be a place, just like for flu shots, you can go. we've just gone from, because we find that that's more accessable to an awful lot of folks who are -- don't have the means to travel very far. don't have access to get to where they need to go and they're used to their pharmacy. they know their pharmacist. they can get a shot. and we've gone from this week, last week, one million doses to pharmacies to two million this week. so with the grace of god and good will of neighbors, we're going to be able to significantly increase that. carmen, i'm pushing really hard, i mean this sincerely, for day cares to be able to open and you need financial help to open. you can't just open, just straight up. and -- but we'll talk about that a little bit as we go on. i don't want to take too much time at the front end here. so look, al, just -- don't be shy about letting us know what
you need. and what you need in missouri is not fundamentally different than what people need in kansas and people need in iowa and people need in illinois, etc. so we ought to talk some more, ok. >> absolutely, mr. president. you know our favorite say, we have your back. pres. biden: you have. as one of your guys said, you have my back so much you're breaking my shoulders, pushing me. >> [laughter] that's all right. susan. mr. president, next i'd like to introduce melanie owens. melanie is a pharmacist on the south side of chicago. melanie actually contracted covid herself last march. and has now been vaccinated. and she's been administering vaccines to people in her community. melanie, please give us a sense of your story. >> hi, thank you, ambassador rice. it is an honor and privilege to be here with you, thank you for
allowing me to share a small part of my story. i am a pharmacist, a pharmacy manager. i began my career with walgreen's nearly 20 years ago. it was an opportunity to help care for others in our community that helped me become a pharmacist. it didn't hurt that both of my parents are pharmacists as well. i also have a sister who is a nurse and my brother-in-law is an engineer for the fired so we're all frontline workers. i did contract covid in march of 2020 when the tests were not readily available, i was no able to get tested but with wall grean's i was able to quarantine for 14 days with no interruption of work or pay. my subsequent antibody test showed i did have covid at that time. i can relate to what others are going through. it has helped me to become more motivated than ever to do all i can to help the community in this pandemic. it's been a really tough year for us. but recently it's been very
rewarding to start being able to go to long-term care facilities and vaccinate the residents there and also now it's available in the stores. my pharmacy, personally, is in a low middle class predominantly black neighborhood and people are surprised that it's very convenient and the ease of the vaccination process once they pass the scheduling portal. so you know, just encourage everyone to be aware that the vaccine is here to help, make sure they're making their neighbors an friends and family aware of their experience as they get the shots taken care of and let them know that we are here to help them. you know, everyone has that asuppings that they would have to go out far an wide to find the vaccine. i think it's an awesome thing that we're starting to roll it out in these communities, in all communities, hopefully it will soon become available. we also, walgreens, has started
a health initiative, health equity program in my store where we're making it more convenient also for customers to get their prescription delivered to them or personal reminders to let them know their prescriptions are ready so they don't have to worry about the social distancing and coming in contact with other people if they don't want to leave their homes are aren't comfortable. but i got my second vaccine february 5 and i just make sure i tell everybody that it was a wonderful experience. i feel very grateful to be able to have gotten it, with the long-term facility workers. i just want everyone to keep doing what they're doing and make sure that we're all doing what we immediate to do to get back to some kind of normalcy. president biden, keep rolling out the vaccine, it's hing people people alive in states. with that, i want to say thank you again for this opportunity. i never thought i'd be able to speak directly with the
president of the united states. thank you. pres. biden: thank you, melanie. let me can you a couple of questions. you're in the south side of chicago, that's where my kids' grandparents are frfment and they're -- people are, they don't have a whole lot of money. a loft people don't -- and it's an older population, these days. >> yes. pres. biden: one of the things i have observed is that there is a reluctance to, if they don't know how to get online with you, a lot of people don't know how to use that, they may not have a cell phone. they may not have the ability to know huh howe to pick the phone up and get online. and so they're reluctant. what i found is, from the days when my dad was raising me, that
sometimes people, when they don't know what to do, they're embarrassed to acknowledge they don't know how to get it done. so how important do you think it is -- one more piece of this. we also know because of the way american medicine has taken advantage of african-americans for experimentation over the last 100 years, that there's a real reluctance that still exists in the african-american community to get the vaccination even if it's available. and my -- i've been pleading with people, get it, if you have a chance, get it. it will save not only your life potentially but your family -- it will save your family a little bit. so tell me about what you sense, i can tell you have a feel for this. tell me -- i really mean it. tell me what you sense from your patients who come in to get the shot. is it -- i don't think they're
afraid of a needle, it's not like, oh, a needle, but are they are luck tant to deal with it? is it because you're an african-american woman they respect, does that make it easier for them to be able to take it? >> i would say that my customer base for the most part is very excited. we haven't had many people come discussing whether or not we would get it ourselves, or should they get it. it's more when can they get it? i was more reluctant than most people, most of my customers to get it actually but then, it felt like an obligation when i started to go to long-term care facilities, i'm here to protect them so i need to be -- caring for people in their 70's who were so eager to get it, i was happy to help them get it, you know, it just -- it helped to change my mind. i also had some administrative
staff at the first long-term care facility i went to change their mind based on me changing mine at that moment to get it. so i mean, i think it's just, you can be fearful, you know. you can have questions. but you know, do your due diligence and figure out what is best for you and you know, like i said earlier, this -- if this is a part of or major key of what's going to help us move past it and go back to being able to live normally, i feel like we should do it. there's no harm in it. pres. biden: we've been able to increase the supply to the states and just in the month we've been here by 57%. so they're getting 57% more vaccine than they did before. we're going to, god willing, we're going to be in a position where we can significantly increase that as well. so that -- and the other thing is, we have set up -- we made another federal decision, saying
that we were going to use community health facilities. which usually take care of the folks who are the most in need. and because they know where -- i'm not being facetious when i say this. they know where the people sleeping thunder ebridge are. they know where people who are really in real dire straits, who maybe they're going out to get them, to get them vaccinated. and so we're hoping that this helps. in addition, you know, one of the things we're going to be able to do is part of this investment is $20 billion in the national vaccination program. as you know, the funding helps deploy community vaccinators, vaccination centers. you're one of them. you're in the community. that's why -- some of the governors were not sure that's the way to go, that we -- and i'm not picking on any governor. i really mean it.
they didn't understand why we made the independent decision to send vaccine directly to 600-something -- 67 different drug chains or drugstores out there, why are we sending it directly to them? they western sure why we were sending directly to child care facilities. that's what we're going to try to do now. and so, because they thought they could better decide where to use it. but i am determined to make sure we service the communities that are the ones that are most victimized by -- victimized is the wrong word. most affected by, most affected by the covid virus when they get it and the consequences of it. but i thank you for all you do. i really mean it, and for going those long-term care facilities. and helping there as well. so thank you very much.
>> thank you. susan: thank you, melanie. mr. president, our third participant, as you know, is carmen palmer. carmen is a child care worker in columbus, ohio. but i say child care worker but that doesn't do it justice. she does almost everything there is to do. pres. biden: that's what i read. susan: she runs the food program at the child care center. she's a substitute teacher. she's a bus driver when needed. sheast also the mother of two of her own young children. so carmen, we would love to hear your story. pres. biden: you obviously have a lot of spare time, carmen. [laughter] >> of course. i just wanted to say thank you, president biden and ambassador rice for speaking with me, giving me this opportunity, i do appreciate that. i'm carmen palmer, you know, i was born and raised in detroit, michigan. i grew up in foster care. and after graduating high school that's when i decided for a
better environment, i moved to ohio, that's where i bought my home here. i've been working here five years and as bam bass cor rice mentioned -- -- and as ambassador rice mentioned my two children attend there. i started as a teacher, i started in the kitchen, the kids call me the cool chef because they see me cook sometimes. i thought it was rewarding to combine my love for cooking and you know, children. and my role is to ensure not only our children eat but others as well. i love providing nutritious meals because i know what it's like not to eat or know where my next meal would come from. especially growing up in foster care. i'm a single mother, an covid has exposed not only the flaws in the child care system but how
frail my personal situation is. i work every -- worked every single day in the pandemic, i have not missed one day, to try to take care of our family and our children who need care. me, personally, if i was to get covid or my kids were i would have no other option. i am one of the only states that has not prioritized child care for the vaccine. that's concerning to me because once again i work every single day in the pandemic and i'm, you know, i'm an essential worker. i'm taking care of essential workers' kids. so -- as a parent, i want to make sure i have child care and child care that is safe. my -- we have installed ionizers to improve our ventilation system. i assume that's working. we provide masks for our staff. we wash our hands, we social distance, we do temperature
checks, but it's hard for the kids. they're used to like, i want to go play with my friends. we're like no, you have to social distance. it's hard keeping, you know, the younger kids, to keep their masks up to protect themses. our enrollment is dun and we are seeing less of our families because of the pandemic. they're not working and you know, they're losing their jobs, an i'm just really grateful that i'm able to still work, you know, during the pandemic and that is important to me, to keep employment. so -- susan: thank you, carmen. pres. biden: carmen, look. we -- this legislation which we think is going to pass is going to help child care providers by allowing you to pay the rent, pay your utility, your payroll if there is one. beyond you as a loan as well as
increased costs associated with the pandemic. those costs include p.p.e., you mentioned ventilation, paying for ventilation improvement. small group sizes. modifications to make physical environment inside safer by providing more dividers. we're also temporarily going to increase the child care tax credit. right now, if you make over a certain amount of money, you will get a tax credit of $2,000 now. we're going to raise that to $3,000 per child. and $3,600 for a child under the age of six and make it refundable which is the big deal. if you're not making a lot of money, not paying taxes, you may have two or three kids, you don't get any help at all. but now what will happen is, if this passes, they will get a refundable credit for each child if they're under 6, $3, 600
check from the federal government. and the same thing for the $2,000 and so on. so -- they say if we get this done it will cut child poverty in half. but in addition to that, it will provade those parents with access to not only your day care center but others across the country, be able to afford it. and we're also making sure that we provide money for folks who are about to be thrown out of their homes. or you know, there's millions of people out there who can't pay the rent. and so we deferred any cost to have to pay the rent while this pandemic is going on. otherwise, you just have, we'd be vastly increasing the homeless population which makes no sense. and so you know, we know how important early childhood education and child development is and to get through this
crisis, i think we need to ensure child care providers have the funding they need to stay afloat and you mentioned something, carmen, that was really important. you know, the -- most of these kids, you've been taking care of, if they were going to kindergarten or preschool they'd be getting a free lunch program. well, you know, we got to increase the amount of money available for what used to be called the food stamp program but it's not now. but we've got to make it available. because did you ever think you'd see, in your -- in your hometown where you'd see miles of cars lined up in multiple lanes waiting for one box of food? this is the united states of america, for god's sake. the idea that there's that much food insecurity is just not right. so what -- i believe if we get this bill passed, which we're not going to pass by a lot but
we're optimistic, we're going to make some real changes and the child care centers are at risk of closing all around the country. and what impact would it have, last question i'll ask, if you had to shut down? what do you think it would do to the children and the parents that you -- that now are your clients? >> i mean, it would be -- it would have a preimpact on our families. our families are telling us now that they can't work. it's definitely hard to find childcare if you don't have any employment. pres. biden: yeah. >> me as myself, i honestly don't know what i would do if i didn't have child care so i could go to work. i have no family here, all my family is back home many michigan. pres. biden: ok, kiddo, keep doing what you're doing. you're really, as my mom would say, you're doing god's work, kid. >> thank you, mr. president.
>> mr. president, carmen is also the only one with young kids in school and i thought it might be worth asking her about how her kids have fared in the pandemic with virtual schooling and hybrid schooling. pres. biden: are you able to take them to the day >> i made it and i really fear for my youngest son he is a thumb sucker and he is seven. put your hands in your mouth. so i enrolled them in virtual and my oldest daughter and started to struggle and i pushed her over to hybrid on monday and tuesday they attend schools and get the help they need. and teachers are willing to help them with the hybrid learning.
but sometimes, it's not just my kids but all the kids are dealing with social distancing and can't go anywhere but just school and home. we have to deal with that as well. president biden: an awful lot of children as well as adults are going through some real -- need help in terms of depression and mental problem. they are more worried and don't know exactly what's going on and has real impacts and we have to get them back into school and we have to open up the schools. by the way, the other dr -- a lot of you are struggling just to make ends meet even if you have a job, but we are going to make sure you get the $1,400 check during the pandemic that both parties said they supported
it and the past president said he strongly supported it. we just got to get it done now and it will give you some breathing room, just a little breathing room. everybody in this circumstance is being hurt through no fault of their open, no fault that this pandemic started. thank you. >> you're welcome, mr. president. ms. rice: i wanted to introduce jeff carter and district store manager of two grocery stores in keyed ar rapids, iowa. we would love to hear your story. >> i thank you for me telling my story. jeff carter, i am married to my wife kim carter and i have an
older son and works as a finance officer in one of the major car dealerships here in and i work for a deprossry store chain and have stores in iowa and we have too many stores in iowa but stores in nebraska, most, kansas, wisconsin and wisconsin. president biden: i was teasing you. >> we are a great company and i appreciate the opportunity that i have to work for them. we employ over 88,000 employees and during this past year, the pandemic has challenged us to not only focus us on service to our customers and employees and service safety. we really had to shift our focus rapidly on how we take care of our customers and make sure they
are safe when they come into the stores. we were one of the first stores to employ flexy glass and created social distancing. we also, in my store and all of our stores, we had employees from the moment we opened until we closed, all they did is sanitize and clean and clean contact areas just to make sure that the virus was limited in the possibility that it might spread. we installed a system that we can push our grocery carts through to san tides them and make sure our customers are safe. we mandated masks for all of our employees and we passed out
millions of masks to our customers in case they didn't have their own. we have a mask campaign and asking and requiring everyone to wear a mask when they come into our stores. i'm very proud of all the employees that i worked with and all of the employees in our stores. i don't think we consider ourselves front-line workers as we are essential workers and we are doing our jobs. but as was talked from day-to-day, as many people we are in contact with, it was a matter if we were going to catch the virus but when we are going to catch the virus. many of our employees put themselves on the front lines and did not shy away and taking care of our customers and making
sure the needs were met and the systems we put in place. we had cases that employees did catch the virus, but our numbers were surprisingly low because some of the safety measures we put in place. and through all that, many of our employees, some were a little bit concerned about going to work because they had maybe family members at home that had underlying health conditions that could catch the virus and falling sick or possible apply death but they came to work to help serve our customers and do their job. on top of that, on cedar rapids, we had a major weather event, amazing event that i never heard the word. we had winds up to 120 miles an
hour and destroyed property and trees and many trees were lost and we have a campaign where we are getting thousands of trees in the surrounding areas that we can replace those trees. many homes were damaged and many of our employees' homes were damaged but put concerns on the back burner to help serve our customers and we helped pass out free goods, groceries. many people were without power for weeks, approximately a week that the city was without power. we were doing whatever we could to help the community. we not only covid but another amazing challenge and we still
per see verdict and happy and proud of the job that our employees and customers alike. we all rallied together to get through this. so now as i mentioned before, i have to mention that ambassador rice mentioned, i had three stores but one was badly damaged and we had to tear it down because the damage was too far to repair the store but we relocated the employees and they are employed elsewhere at other stores. i would like to move forward what i call we are in the recovery phrase of hopefully this virus. we have dealt with trying to hold it at bay and see people from catching it and vaccinate
people and hopefully one day take off the shields and get rid of these masks that will we no longer have to wear and give a customer a happened shake and thank them. we are heady to help you. we got your back. i have two stores and like mel andy, we are vaccinating at well. we have just recently. i sent a pharmacy store and we vaccinated 120 senior citizens that had not been been out of that facility for probably a year and the stories that i got back from my mamminger that people had tears in their eyes from the relief and the hope that they will someday soon be able to see their loved once
face-to-face. and mr. president. we have farm asists and texan about nine mobile units ready to go out to the communities to reach people. we get the vaccine and go to them. at drake university, we have vaccinated over 1,000 people. things like this, we are ready to do to help you because we have your back as well. and i think what we really need, we have stores in multiple states and get the vaccine delivered to go out and do our thing. i'm very much appreciate this and i probably watch this video over and over again. thank you very much.
[laughter] president biden: look, one of the things that ambassador and i made the decision early on to quote franklin roosevelt and give it to you straight from the shoulder and not play games, i'll tell you when we do it right and when we screwed up and take responsibility. i think that's what is what you are doing, the people you are working with and the people you are trying to help. and we spent too much time ignoring this. one of the things you all mentioned is the p.p.e., the protective gear and social distancing and i know that no one knows this as pharmacists and all of you know it from your experience, the way we could have saved literally an awful
lot of people had listened, we turned masks into a political statement. somebody else, didn't wear it. and it is plain basic science, science. social distancing, so you are not could you having on one another and it makes a difference in community septemberers and there are so many things we can do that is within our own power. we will send out an awful lot of masks around the country. millions of them. but the point is that you all without my asking you talked about the need to social distancing. it is hard to social distance in a fire truck or an e.m.t. in the
back of a wagon but you know it is important. but i had said when i got elected, my first 100 days, we would get at least 100 million shots in people's arms. 1800 million shots. and 30 days in, we are about 40% of the way there. we have 47 -- almost 50 million right now. and million shots a day. one of the things that you and melanie know -- one thing to get vaccines delivered and get it out of that vial and into somebody's hard. we have gotten another close to 4,000 people who get vaccinations from national guard to the defense department and to
units within commercial operations that have could and i signed an executive order allowing former retired doctors and nurses to be able to come back and get vaccinations. we are going to beat things like folks like you. and have your constituencies and they are different and make sure they understand that washing their hands matters and i don't have to tell you that, al, you have to two kids, right? >> yes, sir. we are blessed. president biden: thank god. but one of the things that again i'm going to go back to the whole question of equity, what we are trying to do, my team and
i is get people who have been most hurt by this pandemic to places where they are comfortable, where they have comfort in going and don't feel like think are -- they are not in mr. timmons: dated by the circumstance and they are used to going to the grocery store and used to going to the drug store and pharmacy. but we are trying to get out mobile units in the communities not only rural city but rural communities that don't have much access. they tell me the statistic that the vast majority people live within five miles of a pharmacy. if you are an older person and there is no public transportation. so we are working on ways now to
provide probable transportation and vans going into the communities and people getting shots that are being administered by people they tend to trust. i can't tell you how much difference you are making. we met with people all over the country via this means and i think there is and inguessing pleach doesn't do it for you.
and make sure you are safe, do you still wear a mask and socially distance, et cetera. we are an administration that thinks science matters. science matters. and it has to be available to the poorest amongst us and those who are most hurt amongst this covid crisis across the board. do you have any questions for me? ask anything you would like? i think carmen has a good
question. anything you want. i'm just joe, ok. do you have a question. i'm going to be back in columbus. it's about literally 35 days or so ago and i was trying to get the nomination and trying to win the election, but i like columbus and i'm a democrat, but i think your governor is doing a decent job trying to get things going. i don't think there is anything political. some folks are stepping up and he stepped up, in my impression. we disagree on things and we served together and i like him, but i think this is about -- it's not about the science, if you see me, don't say joe, who, what was that guy's name?
i hope i can get to the point. the one thing i get most asked when is it going to back to normal? i can't tell you that. but most experts tell you that things will continue to change and change somewhat rapidly. i think next fall it will be different than last fall. we will be going into the christmas season whether it is back to complete normal, i don't know. but we are going to beat this. i promise you we are going to beat this, and i think drk but the idea that over 500 -- i carry a card with me every day with the folks who have been effected by the -- as of
yesterday, there are 500 071 people who died from this more than died in world war i, world war ii and vietnam. when the american people set their minds there is nothing we are unable to do. with your help and so darn many -- we look at all the stuff that is bad or disappointed out there, but there are good, decent honorable people in this country. make me one promise, you all take care of yourself. we need you for real. we need you for real. >> thank you, mr. president. >> thank you for sharing your thoughts. wonderful to be with you. bide boyd you can call us any