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tv   White House Press Secretary Holds Briefing  CSPAN  April 27, 2021 3:15am-4:02am EDT

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say when we rollout the speech. a couple items at the top. today the department of , agriculture and the secretary announced the historic expansion of the summer and then the ebt
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program, the single largest summer child nutrition effort in our nation's history and will reach 30 million kids this summer thanks to the american rescue plan. some programs are considered a lifeline for some families but until now they've reached less than 20% of families served during the school year riyadh -- school year. children are eligible if they're eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals or if they are under age 6 and live in a staff household. parents or guardians do not need to take any action to receive the card in the mail from their state agencies. each child will receive credit loaded onto an ebt card and they can then use that by parents or guardians to purchase food and also, today, president biden will sign an executive order establishing the white house task force on organizing and empowerment. this task force is an effort to mobilize the federal government's programs, policies and practices to empower workers
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to organize and bargain with their employers and we will have a specific focus on increasing worker power and marginalized research communities. vice president harris will be chair of the task force and marty walsh will be the chair. the task force will include 20 department heads. also, vice president harris will have a bilateral meeting with the president of guatemala this afternoon. they will need to discuss working together to discuss alternate relief needs of the guatemalan people as well as deepening cooperation on migration. vice president harris will participate with representatives from the guatemalan community-based organizations tomorrow. vice president harris direct engagement is a testament to the importance we are placing on improving conditions in guatemala. when the president spoke last the agreed to collaborate on -- last, they agreed to
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collaborate on promoting economic development, leveraging technology, strengthening climate resilience and creating conditions to expand opportunity for people in their home countries to address the root causes of migration. finally, as you may have seen today, we announced that the administration is looking at options to share american made astrazeneca vaccine doses during the next few months. given the strong portfolio of vaccines that the united has already authorized and available in large quality, including 22 dose vaccines and one wonders vaccine and given astrazeneca is not authorized for use in the united states we do not need to use astrazeneca in our fight against it over the next few months. before any doses are shipped from the united states, the fda will confirm any such doses meet its expectations for product quality. this is being done in the context of the fda's review of all sources made up of plant where these astrazeneca doses were produced and i anticipate
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in the near future our team will share more details about our planning and who will be receiving dosage from here but we're in the planning process at this time. >> let's go to india and what they're doing with the coronavirus. the president just spoke with a prime minister of india. can you give us more details about that and what are we going to rush out and what's the volume and scale to deal with the problem? speaker psaki: as josh noted you may have seen the readout, we put out in case you didn't the president spoke today with prime minister modi of india committing they will continue to work closely together in the fight against covid-19. the pledged america's steadfast support for the people of india who have been impacted by the surge in covid-19 cases. let me give you more of a
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specific update and i'll note there will be an additional call this afternoon that will provide additional details so that's just what available at this time of what's requested and what we are providing. there are a number of areas that are of great need to india at this point in time. oxygen is one of them. in his request we are exploring -- india's request: we are exploring options to provide oxygen. department of defense and usaid are providing oxygen generation systems and we may be in a position to plan for other countries and lower immediate needs and the urgency of the conditions and we will have more details hopefully on the possibility soon. pod is killed oxygen generation systems which we've used in field hospitals. each unit can provide oxygen for 50 to 100 beds and we're exploring options to provide oxygen concentrators and ventilators and are in technical discussions with india to ensure they can conduct connect to indian devices. the us has provided 200
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ventilators trained medical -- ventilators to india last year and trained medical professionals on their use so this is in addition to that and other assistance. another one of those major needs is ppe. we've identified you as -- the united states commercial suppliers and therapeutics. we've identified you as commercial suppliers that are immediately available to help relieve the suffering of patients in india. we've identified rapid diagnostic testing, and additional ventilators available to be transferred to india immediately. i noted of course we also are in close touch with indian officials at all levels about the raw material needs they have as requested we will provide raw materials for the production of astrazeneca. i know some of these have been announced but that's just some additional details. we're in discussions about their
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needs and how we can meet them. >> the president issued a 100 day mask mandate. does the administration plan to update its mask guidance now that we are at 100 days in the biden presidency and what about for the broader country, research are we using? sec. psaki: there's been reports out about cdc plans and we will leave it to the cdc to announce their guidance which i think was the second part of your question about what will be required outside and when masks will be required for individuals who have been vaccinated so you will get ahead of any final details for announcements. the president of course issued that at 100 days and we're not quite at 100 days so i don't have anything more to review in -- preview in terms of what might be next. >> looking ahead to the president's joint session of congress and you get a sense of how the speech is coming together and the president's involvement and how he wants to use that speech.
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to sell the latest in his legislative agenda. sec. psaki: first, the president has been working over the last couple of days as he will be over the next two on his feet. he deeply involved in the development of a speech and he's thinking a great deal about what message you can send directly to the american people about what problems progress has been made and what challenges remain. he recognizes somebody who's served in the senate for 36 years that this is an opportunity, one of the highest profile opportunities the president has speak directly to -- has eight directly to the american people and that's what he intends to do. he will let out the specific details of the american families plan in that speech but he will also talk about a range of priorities that he has for the upcoming months of his presidency including putting in place working with congress to put in place police reform including doing more to expand access to affordable healthcare
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. there will be a range of priorities he will also mention in his speech but he is, he's -- but he is working closely with his speechwriters on it but also with policy advisers and policy teams on finalizing the components that will be in speech. >> on covid in this country, what is the concern level in this country that apparently 5 million people are about eight% of those who got the first dose didn't return for dose 2. >> what i'll say is that there's no precedent. there's no playbook and the other way of looking at that is that we're pleased the vast majority or 92% of people came back for their second doses and that is actually a pretty significant number in our view. we know people lead busy lives but the second dose is critical to getting the maximum level of protection to defend against variance and get people the longest lasting protection and that's the message is being -- message that is being projected by our health and medical team and the doctors aching on behalf of the administration as it was over
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the last couple of days and i'll say that a big part of our effort as we shift into this newer stage which is less about supply more about reaching people is making it easier to to get vaccinated. that applies to people who have not yet received the first dose and people getting their second dose. partnering with doctors offices, helping workers paid time off, that's all part of our effort to ensure people are getting both doses of the vaccine if they're doing the two dose vaccine. congratulations on getting married. >> thank you. first, vice president harris says she's not one to the border yet because we have to deal with covid-19 issues. sec. psaki: i would tell you --
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i would have to aspartame about that. the focus is not on the border, it's on addressing the root causes in the northern triangle and that's why the majority of her time has been spent on working with diplomatic level, she's going to speak and have a bilateral meeting with the president of guatemala. she's going to speak with the president of mexico next week and she's working with them to ensure there are systems in place to reduce the amount of migration coming from these countries but also to address the root causes. that's what the president asked her to do. >> is there a white house concern that is more about covid at the border than other places that she has traveled recently? >> the reason we have been so focused on expediting moving kids out of this border patrol facilities is we want to reduce the public out impact in these facilities and get them into spaces we can do social distancing and ensure these kids have access to health and
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medical experts educational resources. we have made some progress on that front. as president or vice president go down and visit a facility like this, you have to potentially hear some parts. there is some security outcomes. our focus is on five solutions. that is where the president's focus is at this point. >> there was a report in the last couple of days that every migrant child has been a copy of this children's book. do you know why that is and if she is making any money off of it? >> i would have to check with our health and human services team. are you talking about if they're going to shelters?
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>> there is a copy of her 2019 children's book, superheroes everywhere. sec. psaki: i would have to check on that. i hear it is a good book. he is sending a message to the world that he is putting in place precautions, continuing to do that as leader of the united states. he had a pool there proportions, they were additional stats. >> we can gather indoors without wearing a mask. >> that is probably in your private home. it is not replace guidance. we still wear masks around here. we wear masks in our offices and
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camping -- continue to abide by that until that guidance changes. >> the president has a 53% approval rating. that is lower than any recent past president. 52% approve of the handling of the economy, why do you think that is? sec. psaki: there were lots of polls. i know you're asking about yours specifically but there are also 3 positive signs about the american public's view of the president's job including his response to the pandemic. something that's on the lines of the majority of the american public. according to the nbc one, it was 69%, the abc one was 54% approval. also, i will also note her earlier discussion according to
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the abc poll 58% of the public approved of raising corporate tax rates at the bottom line is the president, these polls show what we have long known that the president came into office at one of the most divisive moments in modern american history. the president focus is on -- president's focus is on fulfilling his promise to bring the country together in large part, i'm delivering on the things the american people were electing him to do which we seem broad approval for, getting the pandemic under control, earning our economy around. especially for working families and the middle-class so we'll remain the country together takes getting through what is of divisiveness in our country is going to take time next -- take some time. that was certainly reflected in the polls. >> you do look at these numbers, what lessons you take away any in terms of how they approach the next hundred days? >> the president would be the first to tell you we have a lot of work left to do to get the virus under control despite the fact two thirds of the public support is front and support the progress that's been made to get our economy up and running.
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we still need to keep our heads down and keep pushing forward to get the american jobs plan past. and hopefully, eventually, the american family plan, past. we know that he needs to work at bringing the country together. he will always be open to bipartisanship. he will always have an open door in the oval office to numbers of -- members of congress with different viewpoints to get work done for the american people. he believes that is what the people elected him to do. >> on his speech on wednesday, a joint address but this is not going to be a joint address what -- address. how will the president accommodate these circumstances? sec. psaki: it will look very different for people at home who may not even know that they are used to seeing this. they are used to seeing a full
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senate chamber. full members of congress. they are used to seeing guests for all these new members of congress. there was a first lady's box that is full of incredible people who were full of inspiring stories. the president references this in his speech. that is tradition as well. none of that will be part of the speech in the same way that people have seen in the past. there is an adjustment to have he will speak to the audience, speaking directly to the american people at home. that is always a part of it. even more so to not having all of these incredible stories, inspiring stories that are typically part of any president's joint sessions. from his vantage point, it is an opportunity to speak to the american people about the progress that has been made, the
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work that was still ahead, his new proposal for an american families plan. >> will he be wearing a mask? i think the rules are that anyone speaking on the floor has to be masked. sec. psaki: i will have to ask him that and i will get back to you so people can know what to expect. >> quickly, i didn't get to ask what is the one threshold for the capital gains tax increase apply to households or individuals? sec. psaki: these are excellent questions and i know i'm in a difficult situation because we will have lots of briefings that will go through all of the specifics. >> you can't clarify right now? you can confirm there will be a capital gains raise. sec. psaki: over $1 million reported that accurate but i'm not going to get into more
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specifics. i'll see if there's more we can provide but we've been careful about not getting ahead of the president. >> another topic, the european mission president said over the weekend vaccinated american tourists can safely enter with proof of vaccination, whatever form that might be in the summer. is there any discussion that the white house would reciprocate that for european travelers? sec. psaki: we are constantly reviewing but it is based on the advice of our health and medical team so we are evaluating what needs to be done to continue to protect the health and safety of the american people so i don't have any update on that. >> canada and the us africa -- the united kingdom have both restricted travel. are there concerns there? is there any effort here or would you hear about what the us has done about travel from india? sec. psaki: we're always reviewing about what needs to be done but i don't have any restrictions or rollback of restrictions to review today. -- preview today. >> more on india, the governor
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put on facebook and instagram blocks for social media posts. the data is done by the deferment of educations we can't change the data release timing but we are confident giving what we've seen happen across the country that we will go to meet that goal. >> we are looking for ways to engage with the american public, whether it is through viewing parties or ways to communicate about what the president is proposing but it won't look or feel or sound like it has in the past. >> back on the tax question. we keep asking questions about reconciliation. do you have a plan to increase your outrage to potential skeptics even on the democrat side in terms of getting this
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large package through congress? sec. psaki: the president himself has been engaged with the republicans. i expect he will be again next week. i will talk about the american jobs plan and the american families plan. i know you're asking brian about the corporate opposition to the capital gains component. our core focus is on laying out policies that will increase investment for industries of the future, create family jobs, education to make us more competitive. then he believes we should propose ways to pay for it. these are ways to pay for it. the bottom line is the president is not going to raise taxes on people making less than $400.
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he believes the burden should be on the backs of corporations and high income people who can afford to pay more. hence his opposition to other proposals that would be putting the burdens on the back of other people. >> is there any specific emergency to get the astrazeneca vaccine doses to india? for india, specifically, you mentioned the idea was to get the raw materials there. there are other scenes being produced in india. will those raw materials be available to other manufacturers working on the vaccine? sec. psaki: i mentioned another
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vaccine option as well. i will say that we are continuing to look for a range of ways to help india. we are talking about what we can redirect, but is available now. a lot of what they need at this moment is oxygen. that is what they tell you. your colleagues that a reporting from the region will tell you -- just to be clear, we have zero doses available. we expect there to be approximately 10 million doses that could be released if or when the fda confirms this. there is an estimated additional
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50 million doses that are in various stages of production. these could be completed across may and june. our national security team, our covid team, irking with the state department and others, we will assess the range of needs around the world but that is the timeline. >> is there a date that you have in mind? have you made any decisions? >> as we have any details to provide, we will provide them but we don't have any confirmation to provide. >> why does the administration think missing second doses happens?
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>> there are a range of reasons for different individuals. there is no history or precedent here. the fact that 92% of people are going back is a pretty successful number. but we are looking at ways that we can take steps. we are ensuring that we have more mobile sites. we are trying to make sure that there is an opportunity for paid leave. people have busy lives. we certainly understand that. we want to take every step we can to make it easier for people to get their second dose or their first dose if they have not done that. the same approaches apply to all of these challenges.
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obviously, we take different approaches depending on the community or depending on what we are seeing in the data of the challenges but the importance of increasing our investment in mobile sites, partnering with doctors, increasing our pharmacy allotment, these are all steps we are taking to increase the number of people getting their doses. >> nearly half the schools are open full-time but the vast majority of students are learning online at least some of the time. whether full-time virtual or hybrid learning. if the buildings are open but the students are still learning remotely, do they view that as a success? >> i don't think we have seen data, early april data that was refractive of february. the data is quite old at this point in time. we have seen across communities and states that there has been a significant amount of progress.
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some school district have given the option to students if their parents choose to stay remote. that is the option that was chosen in some school district. -- districts. >> new data before day 100. >> we can't really change the date of release timing but we are confident given what we have seen happen across the country that we are going to meet that goal. david: you may have seen the fbi and dhs turned down information on solar winds and suggested there would be more facts coming in. how are we supposed to measure
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since the president announced his sanctions two weeks ago and -- two weeks ago what success looks like there? sec. psaki: it is challenging as you know, for covering this from the time as you have and i will say that you know, we have never stopped or seen one set of sanctions as being the silver bullet that would alone change the behavior of the russian government. just like we would not see sanctions as the one silver bullet that would change behavior in any country. we still felt it was essential to put in place consequences and implement consequences for behavior that we found to be absolutely unacceptable as did -- under separate will. as did most of the global community but in terms of measuring the success our objective is to de-escalate the relationship. also, to speak out and take action as needed when we are responding to their behavior
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that we find unacceptable but also to find a way to make it protectable and stable. i would say that is what we are working toward. we are not looking at the implementation of sanctions as a solo incident that we are evaluating the success of as much as it is part of moving and changing the relationship. >> did you see vladimir putin's move as an indication that he also wants to pull back? >> i am not in the mind of vladimir putin. i cannot effectively tell you what was in his mind but we are working with our partners in europe to convey that the escalation was undetectable and secretary blinken does not hold back in conveying that clearly.
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>> one last question for you, you had some questions this week around -- you had some bidders -- you had some visitors from israeli intelligence groups. sec. psaki: i am happy to get back to you after i ask around here to find out who they were meeting with. we will brief them and i will be part of the conversation -- and i'm sure it will be a part of the conversation as we regularly do on the status of negotiations and we just concluded the second round that will likely be multi round negotiations in vienna. we will update them and i would expect on those discussions and the progress being made there but in terms of components of the discussion.
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i will see what we plan to read out from those meetings. >> for the capital gains tax increases, what will that be about? >> those are interesting questions, i understand them but we will have many briefings to get you all of the details you would like. >> what is the process of those? >> we are working through the process will look like. sec. psaki: we will consider a range of options from our partner countries and much of that will be through direct relationships. >> the other question i had is you mentioned the goal to keep the country together and end the pandemic. those are the two big goals that he has. you see this vexing hesitancy
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among republicans and the slower vaccination rates. how does the president view those two goals as they intertwine? can you not have one without the other? sec. psaki: that is an interesting question. i would say the president says he has to govern for all people and that includes, of course, getting the pandemic under control which is certainly not infecting people for a political prism. our efforts are to increase vaccine confidence, i should say, across a range of communities where we have seen some concern some question. -- some concern or some question. now we have seen in recent data that there has been large increases among not just communities of color but also more conservative communities. people who have had a neighbor take the vaccine and have seen
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the impact in and have had dinner together in their home as is a part of the cdc guidance . that's encouraging but we are going to, the president will continue to govern for all people to work to address the crises we are facing. they are not democratic or republican but crises for the american public, whether that is the pandemic, people out of work, the climate crisis, racial injustice in our country and those are the 4 he's identified as could go to his presidency. >> a question on unity, you talk about earlier the president -- how the president wanted to bring the country back together. i guess the question is he has not met with house majority leader kevin mccarthy according to kevin mccarthy. what does that say about unity and also there are other legislative issues as it relates to hr one and and a commission to study packing the supreme court. tens of millions of people are
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concerned that this does not feel unity at all. sec. psaki: tens of million of people are concerned about him not meeting with kevin mccarthy? i am not sure the pulling there is accurate. -- polling there is out. when i say he is focused on bringing people together, ringing democrats and republicans together, he is not talking about solving bipartisanship in this zip code. he is talking about proposing policies that address the crises are facing, whether it is getting the pandemic under control, putting people back to work. a lot of the policies he has proposed whether it is the american rescue plan or the american jobs plan, they are supported by the massses.
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we are going to be reviewing republican proposals and i think the people see that, they see him rolling up his sleeves and ready to work with people of all different viewpoints. >> why not separate the infrastructure bill the republicans had or the 800 billion or so why not take that call it a deal and move on the other legislative bills? >> david, as you know you need 60 votes and it's a republican in the senate and see how many votes they have but where we are right now, you can look at the proposal. sometimes there are deep in the weeds and sometimes nerdy conversations between staffers, members of congress. we have follow-up questions and i'm sure they have follow-up questions. he will invite some bipartisan members to come to the oval office and have a discussion about it. we will talk about what the path forward looks like >> i have one
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question -- what the path forward looks like. >> former secretary john kerry and as the secretary shifted roles, he still continues to represent the united states on the world stage and does the president have any comment or ration about carrie telling the iranians about covert military action on the part of israel? >> we will not comment on leaked tapes. >> my second question is i've heard from a number of governors who are frustrated that they have not heard directly from president biden on these weekly coordinating covid calls so why hasn't he joined those weekly calls? sec. psaki: how many governors? >> i've heard from a number. sec. psaki: like, how many? one, two.
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>> i am curious of the answer to your question as well. >> there were 2 in my story. >> to governors and some anonymous governors. the intention was never for the weekly covid call that is led by our covid coordinator to be for the president to be leading the call. the intention was for covid coordinators to be providing an update directly from the president, directly from our work across the federal government to get the pandemic under control. we have done in that call is provide weekly updates about the number of doses going through those states which have increased nearly every week. they're talking about an average of 28 million. it is an opportunity to have an engagement and a discussion about where the challenges in the system, how to better operationalize the complaints
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that we received when we came into office. that was the intention. i can assure you that the american public, governors here -- hear quite a great deal from the president on his plans to get the pandemic under control and it's in excellent hands with his covid coordinator. >> he has not joined those, does he have any plans in the future? >> he's never conveyed it as a call that would be a part of his agenda so i'm not sure there is a big controversy here. >> can you confirm reports that or about sorry, the cia director was in iraq and baghdad meeting with iranian officials and foreign ministers? sec. psaki: i would point you to the cia for commission of anything about his schedule. >> i would be interested to know whether he was meeting with the prime minister.
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is that something you are able to discuss? >> i would point you to the cia for any details on his schedule. >> earlier today, secretary blinken announced sanctions. are there any other sanctions that the administration is weighing? sec. psaki: the sanctions that were announced today which everybody may not have seen is on one current and former guatemalan official because of their role in corruption in guatemala and the sanction support efforts by the people of guatemala to end the scourge of corruption as part of the u.s. government commitment to support improvements in government or in governance in guatemala. you know, as vice president of virtual buyout with the president the day indicates we are focused on working with guatemala and other partners in the region to improve conditions and address the causes of
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migration in today's actions . we are confident we will continue to be able to work with the guatemalan leadership on areas of agreement, areas where there are opportunities. we will not hold back when actions warrant sanctions as they did in this case on the grounds of corruption. >> do you expect the vice president to meet with a -- the salvadorian president? >> i know she has a virtual buyout next week with maxim -- with the mexican president and i expect she will do more in the coming weeks. >> how much the president will talk about foreign policy in his speech?
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sec. psaki: he will reiterate his objectives and witness to rebuilding our place in the world, regaining the united states's seat at the table. it will be part of his speech. >> what is your response to the criticism that the u.s. response to the crisis in india is coming late? >> i will say first, you know, the united states has been one of the largest providers of assistance to address the covid pandemic around the world, including to india and may -- we have obviously taken some significant steps over the last couple of days to be in touch with them. i will also say that we are continuing to fight a pandemic here in the united states. india and the united states have been two of the highest
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challenges. we also take that into account. i can assure people who are watching and paying attention that we want to work in partnership with india. we are committed to getting them assistance that they need, whether it is oxygen, ppe, raw materials for vaccines. we will continue to communicate at the highest level. >> if the administration -- is the administration concerned about abuse of force? sec. psaki: i think we would be concerned about limit check with our national security team and we will get you a statement directly on that. >> can i have another clarification? when you list the vaccines to canada and mexico, you lent them. is the loan thing still part of
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the program now? >> i expect as we put together a plan and we consider the range of requests we have had and determine where we will be distribute in these vaccines, we will be able to tell you. >> there is mounting pressure in the u.s. as trips waiver. has there been any shift in the u.s. up until now? the u.s. has not even confirmed any discussions taking place on a remote level. is there a re-think going on and understanding that there is
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concern of a reemergence of variants? sec. psaki: india has their own ip. they are also manufacturers of vaccines, some of them have been delayed. the last time we really communicated about this at a high level was from our-- updat. the ukrainian president is suggesting -- is the administration willing to take a more active role in the peace process? ms. psaki: the state department is probably the most relevant entities you talk about it. we have had engagements in the past, as you know, and we are in contact with ukraine.
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the president himself has spoken with the president of ukraine, and they have spoken with their counterparts about what their needs are and how we can be effective partners. thanks, everyone. eight minutes. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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