tv White House Press Secretary Holds Briefing CSPAN July 16, 2021 8:01pm-9:03pm EDT
♪ announcer: medco supports c-span along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. ♪ announcer: at the white house press briefing, jen psaki responded to questions about countering covid-19 misinformation, vaccination efforts, spending negotiations, and troop withdrawals from afghanistan. this one hour.
jen: hi everyone. happy friday. i guess everyone is ready for the weekend? we launched the supply chain task force to monitor and engage on emergent supply chain disruptions and bottle the white house task force. because of economic advisers to and groups representinthe full range of the homebuilding supply chain from loggers and lumber contractors, labor leaders and housing advocates. the officials and stakeholders will discuss strategies to discuss short-term supply chain disruptions the homebuilding sector and how they can work together to address them and i also wanted to know that yesterday, senior white house officials launched the community violence intervention collaborative announced by the president on june 23 as part of its comprehensive plan to reduce gun crime. it is an evidence-based approach that has been shown to reduce violence by as much as 60%. it prevents gun violence and crimes around the country before it happens by intervening early and connects potential perpetrators and victims with services and support to divert them away from crime. it is an approach that has been embraced by law enforcement leaders nationally and by mayors
of cities around america. this will be an ongoing initiative. i noted earlier this week that there have been 2 million people who now have access to affordable health care thanks to the reopening of the enrollment period. yesterday we launched a sprint campaign leveraging media and community outreach to get americans sign up for the president is urging americans to visit healthcare.gov or to call. if they would prefer to enroll today, we will talk of this about this quite a bit until until august 15. that is the end of the timeline. i also promised updates on initiatives we are taking to reach people and meet people where they are as regards to getting vaccinated. nascar will host the get vaccinated 200. they will have vaccines on site and will be encouraging vaccinations.
this is the type of approach that is reaching people in convenient locations with messengers they trust. finally, a quick week ahead. on monday, the president and king and queen jordan to the white house. the visit will highlight the enduring and strategic partnership between the united states and jordan, a key security partner and ally of the united states. there will be opportunities to discuss challenges in the middle east and showcase jordan's leadership role in promoting peace and stability in the region. also on monday, the president will also deliver remarks on the economic recovery and progress made under his administration, taking the country from 60,000 new jobs per month to 600,000 new jobs per month. and for more than two thirds of adults vaccinated with at least one shot. the president will explain how the rescue plan has gotten us here and how it was support americans throughout the year
and why we need infrastructure agreements and his build back better plan to sustain the growth in years to come while keeping inflation in check for the long-term. on tuesday, the president will hold the second cabinet meeting of his administration. his first in the cabinet room. get excited, everyone. he looks forward to that. on wednesday, the president will travel to cincinnati, ohio to participate in a cnn town hall. with that, why don't you kick us off? reporter: [indiscernible] can you talk more about hong kong and the latest. also, there has been something, can you talk about the goal of the? jen: sure. first, as the president said yesterday, the situation in hong kong is continuing to
deteriorate and we continue to see beijing assaulting hong kong's autonomy and democratic institutions and authorities using the national security law to make politically motivated arrests. we have seen a deterioration of fundamental freedom which were guaranteed by an international agreement. so that is why the united states announced steps we are taking to promote accountability and transparency. the state department announced earlier today seven officials who were sanctioned for their actions threatening the peace, stability, and autonomy of hong kong. on transparency, the u.s. government issued a business advisory, as you noted, i just want to give the full context, which is intended to inform businesses and highlight the growing risk for those operating in hong kong. the bottom line is that businesses riskless in mainland china are increasingly present in hong kong and that the
president said last month we will not waver in our support for hong kong and stand up for basic freedoms. as businesses are making decisions themselves, we want them to be aware of the use of accessing of data inappropriately, the restriction of information, and they should be aware of that happening in hong kong as well as mainland china. reporter: [indiscernible] jen: got it. i don't have an update on travel. we continue to explore opportunities to engage with officials at the appropriate level when there is an opportunity for him to be substantive and consequential. i do not have an update on intended travel. obviously, they're quite adept over there at the state department as to adding things as needed. as it relates to plans for the president, he will look for opportunities to engage with prescient xi jinping going forward.
he, we don't have any particular plans at this moment, so decisions have been made, but we will continue to evaluate what is appropriate and what would be constructive in the relationship moving forward. reporter: [indiscernible] there are reports [indiscernible] is the white house open to that? or would that be a concern to the task force? jen: there are ongoing discussions about final components, of course, as we look to and you are eager to see the language, and having discussions are part of that. the president's bottom lines have not changed about the fact that cannot raise taxes on anyone making less than 400,000 dollars a year.
reporter given the fact discussions are ongoing, does the president believe the senate should vote to take the procedural vote to move forward if there is no bill? jen: i think one, leader schumer will be a running point point. he will make a determination about the timeline in the process and work with those in the senate. we work closely with him, but trust the path he is mapping out for the legislative process. we have several days before monday for more information to become available. i will note that the president is quite familiar with the roller coaster and ups and downs of legislating. having spent 36 years there and having some successes there and working with legislators, we had a productive meeting.
members of our team had a constructive productive meeting yesterday. i will also know there are republicans and democrats who feel the same about the path forward. they are confident we will end up with a good package. senator cassidy said he did not deal squeezed by the timing. senator romney confirmed things were going in a good direction. we understand the ups and downs, no one better than the president. >> can you elaborate a little bit on facebook flagging disinformation? there has been reporting that facebook has not been as proactive as the white house would like to be in response to that? can you explain the process of that? jen: sure. it should not come as any surprise we are in regular touch with social media platforms, just like we are in touch with all of you and your media outlets about areas that may be useful.
information that may or may not be interesting to your viewers. you make decisions even though they are privat sector y companies. we are regularly making sure social media platforms sure of the latest narratives dangerous to public health that we and many other americans are seeing across all of social and traditional media. we work to engage with them to better understand the enforcement of social media platform policies. so let me give you an example to illustrate a little bit. the full scenario that remains active out there about covid-19 vaccines causing infertility. that is something we have seen out there on the internet quite a bit, other places as well, which has been disproven time and time again. this is troubling, but a persistent narrative we have seen and we want to know that social media platforms are
taking steps to address the misinformation. that is inaccurate, false information. if you are a parent and you would look at that and it would naturally raise concerns. that is an example of the kind of information we are flagging. reporter what is something proactive the white house would like? jen: as i noted, there are more steps that everyone can take and i would note again this is the responsibility of officials speaking on behalf of the government. it is the responsibility of members of the media. it is the responsibility of civic leaders and people who are trusted voices in communities. that has a broad definition. social media platforms is one of them. there are also areas where a lot of people get news and information. sometimes those are accurate news items reported by your outlets or accurate information shared by a neighbor.
sometimes there is information that is not. this is not a new issue, but it is impacting people's lives. a couple of steps that could be constructive for the public health of the country are providing for facebook or other platforms to measure and publicly share the impact of misinformation on their platform and the audience is reaching and also with the public, all of you, to create robust enforcement strategies that provide transparency about about rules. you should not be banned from one platform and not others if you are providing misinformation out there. taking faster action against harmful posts. as you all know, information travels quite quickly. if it is up there for days and days and days, and people see it, it is hard to put that back in a bottle. and also quality information. algorithms, i don't know how they work but they know how they work. those are some of the steps we think could be constructive for
public health, public information, and the right of the public to know. go ahead. reporter just to quickly follow-up. you said yesterday that 12 people were producing 65% of the misinformation on vaccines and on social media platforms. do you have a sense of who they are? are they bad actors like russia? facebook responded after the press briefing and they say they removed millions pieces of covid misinformation and they connected people to reliable information. does the white house find that sufficient? jen: clearly not, because we are talking about additional steps that should be taken and frankly information that media organizations could decide whether you are going to on or not. i am not just talking about the misinformation storyline, i am talking about these individuals and how prevalent the spreading of this information is. the public has the right to know. that is the point we are making.
we are dealing with the life or death issue, so everybody has a role to play to make sure there is accurate information. obviously those are steps they have taken. they are a private sector company and will make decisions about additional steps they can take. it is clear there are more that can be taken. just on the foreign government piece, because that is an interesting, important question. the state department engagement center has found that russia and china have promoted their own vaccine messaging that undermine western origin vaccines in the health and development programs. that is more than just competition about vaccines. the risk and impact is that this type of information magnifies the risk of potential side effects associated with stern western vaccines. this is what some of this misinformation is doing and misleads the public by falsely alleging that mrna vaccines are untested and risky, even though many are approved and have gone the gold standard of
the fda approval office. it has also been suggested that the united states words covid-19 treatments and prevents other countries from acquiring vaccines, despite evidence to the contrary. but certainly pushing information out there that the tested, approved vaccines are ineffective and unhelpful, a lot of people on the platforms are not discriminating between the source of the information, and that is damaging as well. so we have seen that trend. reporter: as you look at the withdrawal and afghanistan, what is your assessment? we heard from the president that there is the likelihood that the taliban running everything is highly unlikely. does the administration still believe they can maintain control of the region? jen: it is not inevitable. we have provided a great deal of support, supplies, training. we will continue to provide security assistance in the coming months to the afghan
national forces, but it is up to them to determine, are they going to unite as a country? are they going to stand up and fight against the taliban? and that, it is really in their hands, it will be in their hands moving forward. so his point is that it is not inevitable. there has been no intelligence assessment that has said it is inevitable, even as we are assessing the consequences. go ahead. reporter: when you talk about misinformation, it seems that one of the best ways to counteract vaccine misinformation out there would be for the fda to fully authorize these vaccines with the full weight of government approval behind the vaccines, but now we are hearing that may not happen until january 2022 or even later. as the president comfortable with that timeline? jen: the president is comfortable with scientists and data experts moving on the timeline they feel comfortable with. we don't know that to be factually true that is the main driver.
i have not seen data to suggest the main driver is whether it is formally approved or not. a lot of the misinformation is about the consequences and the impact of the vaccine. it is not always necessarily tied to whether it has been formally approved or not. obviously that may give medical experts or others some greater level of confidence. we will see, but the president will leave it to the fda to determine the timeline. reporter: the president doesn't have any concerns about the length of time the approval takes currently at the fda? jen: he is going to allow them to move at the pace of science. reporter: i want to ask you about chief millie, who had national security concerns before president biden took office. did he briefed president-elect biden about his fears of a strike on iran or attempted coup? jen: i am not going to private national security conversations. obviously the president had many conversations with general
miller during his time in his role and none of those do we read out. i will say he strongly respects general miller. he had the opportunity to sit down with him and thank him for his outstanding leadership of the resolute support mission, including overseeing the vast majority of the drawdown in afghanistan during a particularly vulnerable period for our troops. reporter: how close does the president we came to a possible war with iran or a coup here? jen: i will not speak to intelligent matters from here. we had. reporter: on the covid origin. it is the white house worried china continue stonewalling the world health organization and saying they think that covid-19 came into china through frozen food? jen: we continued to be concerned about misinformation coming from voices in china about certainly the origin, lack of participation in the
process, lack of willingness to provide data and information to the world health organization. as you know, we are undergoing our own process here, or 90 day review here, but certainly the chinese providing information , being a participant in the effort would aid the effort. reporter: an announcement from yesterday, how long has the administration meant spying on people's facebook profiles looking for vaccine misinformation? jen: that was quite a loaded and inaccurate question, which i would refute. peter, as you know, we are in regular touch with a range of media outlets. let me finish. as we are in regular touch with social media platforms. this is publicly open information, people sharing information online, just as you are all reporting information on your news station. reporter: but, ok, so that the
12 people you have on the list, 12 individuals, do they know? do they know that someone at the surgeon general's office no the is going through their profiles? jen: i will be happy to get you the information where that is from. these are people sharing information on public platforms on facebook, information that is traveling that is inaccurate. our biggest concern here and it should be your biggest concern is the number of people dying around the country because they are getting misinformation that is leading them to not take a vaccine, young people, old people, kids, children. this is all, a lot of them are being impacted by misinformation. reporter: the big concern for a lot of people on facebook is now this is big brother watching you. jen: they are more concerned about that than people dying across the country because of a pandemic or misinformation is traveling on social media platforms? that feels unlikely to me. if you have the data to back it up, i am happy to discuss it. reporter: there are videos of dr. fauci from 2020, before
anybody had a vaccine and he is out there saying there is no reason to be walking around with a mask. so is the administration going to contact facebook and asked them to take that down? jen: first, what i think is what dr. fauci has said himself and it is out there that science and information evolves and we make it available in a public way to the american people. i have never seen any data to suggest that the vaccines cause infertility. that is information that is irresponsibly traveling. ok. i think -- reporter: about the evolving, facebook used to block people from posting that covid may have originated in a lab and something this president now admits is a possibility. so is there any concern that the things you are trying to lock or [video clip] block -- so is there any concern that the things you are trying to block or take down turn out
to be -- jen: we don't take anything down or block anything eerie facebook and any private company makes decision about what information should be on their platform. our point is there is information that is leading to people not taking the vaccine and people are dying as a result and we have a responsibility as a public health matter to raise that issue and the responsibility we all have the government, media, platforms, public messengers to give accurate information. go ahead. reporter: can you give us a sense of who the individuals are and what specifically is the message to the social media platforms that they should do more, but what specifically is the message to those individuals, 12 of them, responsible for 65% of the misinformation out there? jen: the message is the same message as it is to every person out there has a platform, whether that is an elected official or a person who is a civic leader, the vaccines are
safe. they are effective. if people take them, they will save their lives in many cases. our message to everyone sharing misinformation is the steps you are taking are irresponsible and could lead to people getting very sick and people ultimately losing their lives. why don't we all participate in a process that will provide accurate information out there? reporter: has white house had direct contact with the individuals given the impact they are having through any avenues, saying knock it off? jen: no, i am happy to get you the data on where we got the information. it is publicly available data. we will give you the citation. reporter: let me ask about some of the other numbers as related to covid right now. covid cases are up sharply right now. testing is down right now. how concerned is the white house that this variant is much more widespread than we are aware of? jen: you know, it is a great question. i don't want to speak out of
turn. it is a great question for the health and medical experts and how they are tracking and how concerned they are. we know on transmissibility based on cdc data that the delta variant is impacting the majority of people who get sick with covid now. we know that 99.5% of people who are in the hospital are people who are unvaccinated and people who are dying of covid unvaccinated. the data is very clear. as dr. wilensky said earlier on in a briefing today, this is really becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated. that means getting vaccinated you can save yourself. reporter: is there anything the white house doing differently? we saw the president shaking hands with a lot of folks. we saw something similar last week when he was in illinois. given the reporting about the breakthrough cases, is there any thing the white house is doing differently related to staffing or the president's activities due to those numbers? jen: no.
we are vaccinated. the president is vaccinated. reporter: those breakthrough cases are not something you are worried about? jen: we still have a testing protocol and process in place for white house staff. that has for continued. reporter: and for those individuals he would be shaking hands with, it is good if you're vaccinated? jen: we abide by public health guidelines as it relates to the presidents engagements, and of public health guidelines change, which i am not predicting, we would continue to abide by them. go ahead. reporter: i have a question in on the meeting you're having today at the white house. how concerned is the white house about the supply shortage in the industry? is that serious? is that why the meeting is being held? jen: the meeting is being held as part of our effort to connect suppliers who have said in the past to our economic experts they don't always have the opportunity to talk to one another. we know because of the pandemic that have been supply shortages in areas that have led to a reduction of new building and
construction, which has led to an increase in housing prices because there are not enough houses on the market. that is what it is related to, an opportunity to discuss with them, bring them together in a room and as part of our multifaceted effort to address issues in the supply chain. reporter: on cuba, the president said yesterday that the united states was trying to reinstate internet access for cubans. and i was wondering if the white house or the administration has reached out to u.s. tech companies to help with that effort? jen: so it would really, that effort would be led by the state department and other appropriate entities within the federal government. as the president noted yesterday, returning internet access to cuba would certainly be something we would love to be a part of. looking at what the capacities it is, we arelooking at what the capacities and tools we have in terms of more specifics in the
, the state department would be the best to talk to. go ahead. reporter: on voting rights. jen: yes. reporter: on tuesday, the president said he wanted to act on the issue of voting rights. what did he mean by that? was that the escalated higher? was he trying to get republicans to change their minds and stop using the filibuster? and also, what does he think about what happened yesterday with the rest of the congresswoman and nine other black women peacefully walking through the senate hall building, chanting and singing, and not taken to a holding cell, but taken to jail cell? jen: first, what he meant by speaking out or having your voice heard of the range of ways he said it, is that in order to make change happen in washington , you often need to create a
grassroots movement. that is led by the american people, and it is not just about whether the minds of 10 republicans can be changed directly by a phone call from a president. that often requires activism, engagement, vocal opposition, or excitement from members of the public. that is going to take a lot of different forms and formats. right? it can take letterwriting, phone calling. there is peaceful protesting. there are a range of mechanisms for that in our country in recent years has a great history of that. these members who work, some of them were members, i should say, one member, who was arrested yesterday, they were peacefully protesting. i would note that our support for the rights to peacefully protest and to voice support for moving forward on voting right s is exemplified by the fact that the vice president is currently meeting right now with a number of members here and a
number are at the white house discussing exactly this issue, because we want to be standing beside their side in this effort. reporter: so what i'm hearing is that last week when civil rights leaders were here, this is a summer of action. he said he's going to have a bunch of women out on monday. there could be more protests on wednesday memorial arrest. they are anticipating more risk to bring more attention to this. reporter: we support -- jen: we support the right to we support people having the peacefully protest. we support people having the voices heard and certainly there are a few issues that are more fundamental to our rights this country than the right to vote. i will come to next, if that is ok? reporter: clarifying afghanistan. yesterday you said that 10,000 applicants, 20,000 afghans have applied, and that half of that
have completed the necessary paperwork to move forward. what does move forward in the process mean? does that mean 10,000 applicants will be evacuated? jen: no, it means they are in a later stage of the process. it was giving an update. as i said yesterday, that does not include family members. that includes individual interpreters or translators. it just means they are farther forward in the process. there is another step, which is security vetting, which would need to be completed before any individual is located to a base in the united states. individuals could be relocated to third countries before that process is completed. so it was just an update on where people stand in the process. reporter: why did the administration wait until june 24 to commit to the evacuation? why not have this be one of the early steps right when the president announced in april , i believe, while american troops were still on the ground?
i mean, announcing this just days before the combat mission is essentially over would seem to complicate the mission. jen: i would say first, there are always ongoing discussions, both with partners in the region and others before an announcement is made. sometimes it requires a process to get to the point where you are making an announcement about the relocation of thousands of individuals out of a country. second, i would say we have also committed to not only relocating these individuals in advance of our servicemen and women coming out of afghanistan, we have quite a capable department of defense and diplomatic apparatus in afghanistan and around the world to implement this, but we have also committed to continuing this process from there and having a diplomatic presence on the ground from there. this is not a process that will end, but a process that we announced at a time when a final decision was made based on a
range of factors internally. reporter: are any other countries outside of u.s. territories given the commitment that they will house, the applicants, while they are submitting their applications? jen: when we are at the point when we have final agreements and we are confident that it will not impact the security of individuals being relocated, we will share that information. reporter: you have any updates? jen: i do not have any updates today. go ahead. reporter: what can africa expect from this administration in terms of its engagement in helping with problems were having right now, for example, fighting corruption, and also, can we expect changes in the sanctions in zimbabwe? jen: i don't have any update on considerations around sanctions. we, of course, will remain deeply engaged with our african partners on a range of issues,
whether corruption, fighting the covid pandemic, or economic opportunity and development. and i would note that we have a number of leaders high up in the government, including the u.n. ambassador, linda thomas-greenfield, who has spent time working with leaders in the region and playing a front role for the united states government. but in terms of specifics on zimbabwe and angola, i would point you to the state department. reporter: do you have any data that shows children being affected by misinformation and how you feel we should educate children about this issue? because i am working on a show that will inform little kids about many different things and i concerned about am misinformation. in your research about misinformation, is there any information on how that impacts children as well? jen: that is an interesting question. i do not have data at my fingertips.
i will reiterate that children are not eligible under the age of 12 yet for vaccines in the united states and decisions about the health of children would obviously made by the be parents in coordination with doctors. but i would say there is no question that when there is information, the example i gave earlier on the impact of fertility, which is inaccurate and false, which is still traveling around the internet. if you are a parent, that would give you pause if you think that is accurate information about your child and your child getting vaccinated. so that is an example. i don't have data, but an example that could be applicable. g ahead. reporter: a question about the direct funding to states and cities from the american rescue plan of $350 billion. $200 billion has gone out and several cities and states have been quick to allocate that money. but there are other mayors and governors i've talked to who have spent very little of that
funding so far, and in some cases none, either over battles with their state legislatures, late budget cycles, lengthy process, or something to do with better than expected revenue wise and there has not been a sense of urgency. my question is, does it concern the white house that some people getting money out quicker and does the white house have a message to governors and mayors who do not have an to spend y plans to spend their funds? and does that signal some folks not spending quickly, does that signal money wasn't urgently needed? jen: i would say first ensuring making sure that states and local government have the funding they needed to keep employees on the job, to keep cops on the beat, to rehire them in many cases, was a priority when we were negotiating the american rescue plan for a range of elected officials, including mayors and governors across the
country, for good reason. it sounds like there are case-by-case scenarios that have made it more challenging. we have an entire team at the treasury department and here who work closely with them. it may be most constructed to talk directly with him about different issues that are happening in different cities. reporter: other indications the money is being well spent and how they are going to get it out what you identified? jen: of course. there are a range of options that cities and localities have for using the funding and we wanted to provide flexibility on purpose because one city or town or state does not fit all, one size does not fit all, i should say, for cities, towns, and localities. that was important, that flexibility. there are restrictions on how it can be used and implemented. we take waste, fraud, and abuse incredibly seriously.
the president is sheriff joe. it is something we watch. it might be constructive for you to talk to them directly. reporter: vaccination rates in five states, what does the white house think is driving that? and what is the administration doing about other hotspots? jen: i know this was announced on the covid briefing. for those of you not on the briefing, in the past week, the five states with the highest case rates, arkansas, florida, missouri, nevada, had a significantly higher rate of newly vaccinated compared to the rest of the state. that is a good sign. in the last 10 days, 5 million shot have been administrated. -- have been administered. it is hard to pinpoint on particular piece, but what i would say is that we are continuing to work to apply the lessons we've learned over the last few months. the biggest issue far and away is access.
and that means something different in different communities. in some communities it is ensuring that people know they can take time off of work because of the kind of jobs they are working. in some communities, it is meeting people where they are, in places of work, local mobile clinics, walk-up pharmacy appointments, at the workplace or in schools. we are also continuing to fund , support trusted messengers. we have seen time and time again that it is more effective and many of you have covered political campaigns. this is not a surprise to most people who have covered a political campaign, trusted messengers are people and communities, neighbors, civic leaders, clergy. they are not always the president of the united states. sometimes it is, and they are medical experts. we are supporting those efforts and think all of those have been effective. there is more work to be gone , but certainly that is
encouraging, this trends we are seeing. reporter: do things have to get worse in the hotspots before they get better, and is it fear is driving the vaccination rates? how much of a concern is that? jen: that is not our preference. that is why we have made vaccines so readily available and have employed the tactics for months now and making them available, assessable and working with trusted messengers and partners. have seen in some communities where local news stations are covering young people unfortunately getting sick, some being put on ventilators. i don't know. i can't tell you from data what impact that is having, but we are seeing in areas where there are lower vaccination rates some positive signs over the last week. we will see if that continues. go ahead. reporter: thank you. i will try to make it fast. on covid, you and dr. wilensky, you talk about the end
vaccinated. i am wondering if any part of that is the administration distancing itself from responsibility for the pandemic you have been trying to get people vaccinated, or if it is a scare tactic? jen: i would say the data speaks for itself. 99.5% of people who are in hospitals because of covid are unvaccinated. what it is our responsibility to do is provide accurate, public health information to the public. it is also our responsibility to stay at it and continue to communicate, to fund programs, to support trusted messengers, to get out into local communities, to use creative partnerships to meet people where they are. we have not stopped that. we haven't halted. we haven't even slowed it down, but certainly from the public health experts, etc., and i repeated what dr. wilensky said because she is a doctor and i am not, it is important to understand vaccine is safe, it
will protect them, and it is as simple as that. reporter: olivia rodrigo, was this a one-off thing? i know you have worked with celebrities before. is there more work with celebrities coming or more part was that of the month of action that is behind us? jen: wouldn't it be great if this was the cue for blake shelton and gwen stefani? that would be awesome. it's part of an ongoing effort and we want to partner with trusted voices and individuals in many of whom you may have communities never heard of, and they have five twitter followers and they may not be on twitter if they're not on the coast and not liberal, but we will also work with celebrities and we also work with individuals like olivia roderigo. i know i said this the other day , but obviously she is a very
well-known popstar. she is 18 years old. she does not have to use her time to do this. she is speaking to a broad swath of an audience that is not watching the white house briefing and probably not watching the president of the united states, and we recognize we need to meet people where they are, including using partnerships and engagement with the media. reporter: on voting rights, the president called on congress federal voting solution. to pass he spoke about the urgency of it. the question is what comes next? is he going to travel around the country and make this case? is he going to go up the hill and have meetings specifically about voting rights? i know he has talked to actavis about building grassroots, but some activists are pushing back on that idea, saying cannot always be the ones to do the work. jen: he is not saying to do it alone. he is saying i will be with you he is also saying grassroots , but activism is what is going to move and change the country. that has always been the case
throughout history. in terms of what he will say and do, i don't have any scheduling announcements for you at this point in time, but he said this would be a cause of his presidency. that means he will use his time and his platform to make sure he is speaking about elevating it, engaging in it, and as you know, the vice president, this will be a top priority for her on this issue moving forward. go ahead. reporter: given the wednesday timeline senator schumer has laid out, what will the president be doing over the weekend to help things move along? will he be making calls all weekend? and what is his response to republicans that are concerned that enforcement and the irs won't be enough to generate enough revenue. jen: first, the president has proposed a number of ways to pay for the proposals that have been out there in the public and part of these ongoing discussions, which are continuing. he has a number of proposals out there that are more than covering the cost of the
infrastructure agreement. it does not violate what publicans have said is the redline in this case. the 2017 tax cuts, regardless of his point of view on that. we will take that on in the build back better reconciliation package. in terms of what he is doing, the president is ready, willing, able, looking forward to playing any constructive role he can play in getting these pieces of legislation across the finish line. will that mean phone calls? sure. will it means bringing more people to the white house? it probably will, but i don't have anything to lay out. reporter: the intelligence community attributed the ransomware attack to the russian government? jen: the rnc put out a statement when the news came out it was a third party that had their information access, not the rnc. i am not aware of the information changing. i would point you to them on that. the fbi is doing an investigation and is in touch with them.
i don't think they have put out any new information since then. in terms of the attacks, we have pointed to the fact that revil, many cyber experts have attributed their engagement here. we have not attributed the russian government's involvement in this case. it is an ongoing view, but we don't have any new information on that front. go ahead. reporter: i am curious if the uptick in the delta variant is playing any part in extending the federal mask policy on transportation. is he leaning towards extending that even more? some health officials say they want to extend it even now. jen: he is going to lean into the advice of medical experts on any steps that need to be taken to keep the american people safe. given we are talking about september, i know that feels like a short time away, but it
is some time away, but he will receive updates on a range of issues as it relates to covid. i'm sure they would discuss this in their views. reporter: that same note, you and on said yesterday he is like going to take into consideration some factors before he talks about the european travel ban. is that going to play a part in that, the delta variant? jen: as it relates the travel ban, we know we have made important progress on the pandemic and will continue to put public health first. all decisions about reopening international travel will be guided by public health and medical experts. there are having these ongoing working groups discussions to keep open lines communication. of he will be receiving an update soon, i believe, if not today, then in the coming days, on where things stand, but we must be vigilant. particularly about the spread of variants.
we will reopen when health experts expect it is safe to do so. reporter: does the president planned to appoint the fed chairman to another term? jen: i have no announcements. i have no announcements or pronouncements on that. reporter: [indiscernible] jen: i don't have a timeline to project. i know there is a timeline for when his service will need to be reviewed or determined. let me get around. go ahead. reporter: go ahead. i had a question about the opposition leader. he will be in washington next week. she said that she would meet with high-ranking officials. i was wondering if you had details about that? jen: i don't with me. let me get back to you on that. the state department or the u.s. government. reporter: high-ranking officials. jen: let me get you more information after the briefing. our special guest -- where are you from? have you been here before? >> i haven't.
jen: welcome! ok. [laughter] reporter: thank you my question . my questionit's about vaccination rates in rural counties. we are seeing a significant rise in covid cases. are there specific plans to the administration has to increase vaccination rates in rural counties people don't have where any intention of getting the vaccine? jen: we have talked about this a little bit, but what we are doing in rural communities is employing a number of the tactics that we have seen work around the country. so we know access is a huge issue in rural communities because people may not live near a pharmacy. they may not know where to get a vaccine. we certainly understand that. part of what we are trying to do is deploy and make sure we are expediting our deployment of mobile vaccine units to bring the vaccine to where people are and where they live to make it
as easy as possible, so this work will continue person-to-person, community to committee. we are also working with a range of trusted partners locally that people might not have heard of. groups like the national rural health association make sure we are deploying tactics they think , two will work to get vaccines out to committees and meet -- communities and meet people where they are. we have talked about it a little bit here. obviously, the states have a combination of communities, but there are states like arkansas, louisiana, and missouri where there are large rural communities and we have seen an uptick in terms of getting vaccinated higher than the national average. we will look at that and apply those tactics other places in oklahoma to make sure we are continuing to go community by community. and meet people where they are. go ahead. reporter: i know the administration has said they are not interested in federal mandates. do you encourage employers to require vaccines?
i know there is discussion about local governments encouraging others to require the vaccine of their employees jen: we know that some employers, hospitals, health systems, colleges, universities, local leaders have chosen to take this step. and we expect others to do so as well, but our role we are playing from here is continuing to go community by community, person-to-person, making sure we are meeting people where they are to get the vaccine out. we believe that local communities, entities, organizations are going to make decisions about what they need to do to keep their communities safe. reporter: and what about for federal workers are members of the military? jen: i don't have anything new to report on that. reporter: question. the justice department inspector general report on the fbi handling other nasser case is
the latest embarrassment and a string of embarrassments for the fbi this summer. does the president have confidence in that? does the fbi have complete confidence in christopher wray and what is the administration's message to people who see this ? are they up to the task? jen: i would first point to the expansive statement put out in response to the report. second, yet he has confidence in christopher wray. as it relates to ransomware, this is and interagency effort, one we have not seen done in the past. i gave an update and a readout yesterday. we are tapping into the resources and expertise of the federal government. the fbi has been a key partner , as have a number of entities and our national security team who can play a role fighting against ransomware. go ahead. i'm sorry. go ahead. reporter: ok, so you haven't talked about it. jen: no when asked about it.
this is the moment. reporter: there seems to be a convergence in terms of making insuring industry-leading vaccines. my question is the mechanism. we know that, but was there pressure from aipac member countries to pass the patent waivers? jen: first, the president's view is exactly as you laid it out there. this is an ongoing process, and the ambassador is the lead representative in these discussions and negotiations. the summit was virtual, individuals delivering remarks. it was not an interactive opportunity, and i would say president xi delivered that prerecorded remarks. he was not participating in person. reporter: on the health
misinformation, do you consider promising treatments for covid that as a misinformation? i know the fda weighed in on this. i wanted to know the administration's position. jen: if it is information that is inaccurate, we consider it misinformation. i don't think it is more complicated than that. go ahead. let her go. let her go. reporter: [indiscernible] reporter: [indiscernible] i am just making sure that -- jen: brian, thank you. you get an internship or something. i don't know. we have four minutes left. reporter: go ahead. the meeting today. they said they want the president talk about the filibuster, reforming the filibuster. each of the meetings they are having, i am still coming out
wondering what is going to happen. that is my first question. even as you also said there is not a plan right now for the president to go to arizona or other cities, white isn't there plan? right now that kind of plan? they have come out and said the administration has put a lot on them and they are waiting to hear something back. jen: well, i have laid out for you what we know is through next , which wednesday. it doesn't mean he isn't going to talk about a range of priorities in the future. i don't want you to take it that way. that is not what i was implying, but we have about four days out here in terms of scheduling that i can provide to all of you. as it relates to women in the room, let us see. maybe they will go to the stakeout and talk about their meeting and engagement. the president and vice president are sending the message that we are committed to that and to
advocating voting rights across the country and i think our actions clearly example find exemplify that. go ahead. reporter: i'm wondering if you could tell us specifically how the administration identifies what is misinformation and how you flag it to facebook. two that is one. two administration flagged , how many times has the administration flagged misinformation, and three how long has this been going? finally, i know that you are and deadly serious about this conversation. you have talked about how it is life and death but are there any types of safeguards the administration is putting into place to make sure they do not chill free speech while going after misinformation? jen: to be crystal clear, any question about platform usage and who should be on the platform is orchestrated and determined by private sector companies. facebook is one of them, right? and there are a range their on
criteria and rules in place and they implement them, and that is their decision to do. that is not the federal government doing that. it is life and death. it is a public health issue in the country. that is why the surgeon general was here talking about it yesterday. there are trends. you can all probably see on facebook and other social media platforms. and so what we raised our issues like there is a lot of information out there about the false claim that covid-19 causes infertility. everyone in this room knows that is factually inaccurate. we raised them four in our direct channels, which every administration has had with every social media platform, that we are seeing this trend, the information is inaccurate. it is troubling, and reporter: so you are saying these are general areas of information to take a look at? jen: yes. it is also publicly available who the individuals are, the
who have spread most of the misinformation. it wasn't publicly available by the u.s. government. it is publicly available information. that is how it works. thank you, everyone. i have to wrap it up. sorry. ok, brian. last one. very quick. reporter: on afghanistan, though we are not engaged -- jen: brian, why not you come back here? [shouting] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> earlier today, the white
house covid-19 response team held a briefing. the director of the cdc warned that the increasing cases is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated and urged everyone who has not gotten vaccinated to do so quickly. you can watch the full briefing later tonight at 12:40 5 a.m. eastern here on c-span. here's a portion. >> there's a clear message that's coming through. this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated. we are seeing outbreaks of cases and parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk. communities that are fully vaccinated are generally faring well. you can see the patterns of local outbreaks in the slide of community transmission. the blue and yellow counties have low or moderate transmission. the orange and red counties have substantial to high transmission.
on the left, where we were short time ago. compare it to where we are now on the right. in the last week, 10% of counties have moved into high transmission risk in the red and 7% of counties have moved into substantial risk in the orange. those counties most frequently correspond to counties with low vaccination rates. when we look over time, we can put these increasing cases in perspective. in january, shown in the middle of the slide, we were averaging nearly 200,000 cases per day. the entire country was in a high-level of transmission. you can see that from january to june as we move from left to right on the slide, we made remarkable progress with a percentage of counties with hydrant trent -- transmission decreasing. now in the upper right-hand corner, which is where we are today, you can see the recent growth in cases where the red and orange are again increasing.
while we are in a far better position than we were in january through april, this increase in red area is giving us all a reason to double down and get more people vaccinated. >> you can watch the full briefing with the white house covid-19 response team later tonight at 12:45 a.m. eastern here on c-span or any time c-span.org. next, the department of homeland security's acting assistant secretary for weapons of mass destruction testifies on the agency's mission and operation before a homeland security subcommittee. lawmakers asked about threat detection, bioterrorism, security, and the origins of covid-19. >> the subcommittee on emergency preparedness, response, and recovery will come to order.