“It’s a matter of timing.”
The President explained that in addition to pandemic, America is facing many long-term problems, including gun control and immigration, and said he plans on making progress on all of them but that his initial primary focus was COVID and “giving people peace of mind.”
- COVID: Pres. Biden began the press conference by setting a new goal of administering 200 million vaccines by his 100th day in office (April 30), noting that he met his previous goal (100 million COVID vaccine doses during his first 100 days) on day 58.
- BORDER: The President was asked repeatedly about the surge of unaccompanied minors arriving at the border and the overcrowded facilities where they’re being housed. He said there’s no “easy answer,” and framed the issue as a humanitarian one, describing the “desperate act” of parents who send their children on the journey to America in order to escape “horrific circumstances” in their home countries. He described the current housing situation as “unacceptable” but stopped short of providing a timeline for when the situation will improve. “I can’t guarantee we’re going to solve everything, but I can guarantee we can make everything better,” he said. He also added that the Army post at Fort Bliss will be made available to house 5,000 children.
- AFGHANISTAN: The President said it will be “hard to meet” the May 1 deadline for U.S. troop withdrawal in Afghanistan due to “tactical reasons,” but that the U.S. is working with allies in order to leave in an orderly way. He said, “We will leave, the question is when we leave” but that it’s unlikely we’ll have U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2022.
- SECOND TERM: The President said he expects to run for reelection in 2024 with Vice Pres. Harris, but did not say when he’ll make a decision.
WATH THE PRESS CONFERENCE VIA C-SPAN HERE
READ THE TRANSCRIPT HERE
by Jenna Lee,