tv White House Press Secretary Holds Briefing CSPAN March 12, 2021 1:59pm-2:34pm EST
for themselves but for the country. >> george weigle on c-span's q and a. you can also listen to q and a on your podcast wherever you get your podcasts read ♪ -- podcast. ♪ >> who provide seized interviewers as a public service. ♪ >> getting us up to president biden's covid-19 event and have an hour with vice president harris and the rose garden, we are going to show you today's white house press briefing. >> hi everyone. happy friday. we are ending the week with a
very special guest. national security adviser, jake sullivan. he is our first repeat guest. he is going to give us a readout of the meeting that took place this morning and also answer some of your questions. >> thanks, it's good to see a rebutted today. the president hosted the first ever quad summit. the first time this group gathered at the leaders level. they gathered virtually because of the constraints of covid-19. each of the leaders independently referred to this event as historic. it cemented a group of strong democracies that will work together going forward to secure a free and -- secure a free. this is the first multilateral
summit he has hosted since taking office. it reflects his view that we have to rally democratic allies and his belief in the centrality of the security of the nine essays. during the meeting, the leaders injuries -- addressed key regional issues including freedom of navigation and freedom of coercion. the coup and violent repression and burma. also spoke to the competition of models between autocracy and democracy and expressed their confidence that the spec -- that despite setbacks, democracy is the best system to deliver for people and to meet the economic, social and technological challenges of italy first century. over the course of the meeting, a sense of optimism for the future despite the hard times we are in was on full display. the leaders discussed the
challenge posed by talent -- by china and they make clear that none of them have any illusions about china. today was not fundamentally about china. much of the focus was on global crises. with respect to go over 19, these leaders made a massive joint commitment today. with india manufacturing, u.s. technology, japanese and american financing, the quad committed to delivering up to one billion doses by the end of 2022. the leaders also agreed that they will meet in person before the end of the year. they launched a set of working groups including a technology group that will help set standards in key technologies like 5g and artificial intelligence.
these groups will deliver results by the time of the summit i just refer to. the quad is now a critical part of the architecture. today's summit also kicks off an intensive stretch of the policy in the region. secretary blinken and secretary austen will travel to meet with their counterparts. they are getting on the road this week and. secretary austin will go to india from there. -- this week and secretary austin will go to india from there. we will have other high-level meetings and visits in the high coming weeks with visitors from the indo pacific that will be announced soon. just a word on anchorage, we have spoken a lot about our fundamental strategy of establishing a position of
strength. after the work of the past 50 days, secretary blinken and i will enter the meeting with chinese representatives from a position of strength. resident biden has signed into law the american rescue plan -- and it biden has signed into law the american rescue plan. -- president biden has signed into law the american rescue plan. we have launched a bold effort to secure our critical supply chains. we have reclaimed our place in national institutions and with the current presidency of the un security council, we passed a strong statement on vermont just this past week. we revitalized our alliances with asia and europe. we agreed to a pause in tariffs in the boeing dispute. we executed a strong joint response to russia's poisoning of navalny.
in asia, just in the last few days we have reached new hosting agreements for our troops and our bases with both korea and japan. we have taken the quad to the new level. today is a big day for america and the policy. this summit is a big deal for the president and the country and we are looking forward to the work ahead. with that, i would be happy to take your questions. >> bloomberg news, did the president and counterparts discuss the cyber on microsoft exchange? >> without getting into too much detail, they discussed semi conductors. the leaders agreed as part of the emerging technology to look at these supply chain questions
as it pertains to semi conductors. with respect to cyber, it's not just the solar wind incident or the microsoft incident. cyber attacks that have hit japan, india and australia just in the past few weeks and months. this is a common challenge that we face from both state actors and nonstate actors and we do intend to make the -- >> on the cyberattack with microsoft, can you give a scope and scale and how it compares to solar wind? >> we are still gathering information. we are still trying to determine the scope and scale. it is significant. the precise number of systems
that have been exposed by this vulnerability and have been exploited by nationstate actors or hackers or others, that is something that we are urgently working with the private sector to determine. it is certainly the case that malign actors are still in some of these microsoft exchange systems which is why we push so hard to get those systems patched. the u.s. government is mobilizing a robust response to it. a lot of this comes down to the private sector taking the steps they need tech -- need to take. >> can you deplorably say that the microsoft change pack -- microsoft exchange pack was done by china? >> we will be in a position to attribute it at some point in the near future and we won't hide the ball on that. we will come forward who we
believe perpetrated the attack. >> what is the status of any tax with iran -- of any talk with iran? >> their argument occasions through the europeans and others that enable us to explain to the iranians what our -- what our position is. and we are waiting at this point to hear further from the iranians how they would like to proceed. from our perspective, this is going to be, this is not want to be easy. we believe that we are in a dippel medic process now that -- diplomatic process now. >> as it relates to iran, is the u.s. not going to respond to the last round of rocket attacks? we heard from the former secretary of state, mike pompeo,
saying that ayatollah recognizes the only strength is the u.s. demonstrating weakness in that relationship. >> if you look at the pattern of attacks that took place over the course of 2019 and 2020 against american personnel and facilities, how frequently they occurred, what kind of damage they did, i am not sure that the former secretary is in a position to be trying to give us advice on the question of how to respond. the united states reserves the right to protect its personnel and facilities. we will do that in the time and place of our choosing and we will take whatever steps are necessary to deter further attacks. i am not want to telegraph our punches on any particular operation that we may take in the days or weeks ahead. >> thank you. on a broader picture, vowed a new approach on china.
these early days in administration, they take a little more cautious approach. is this him displaying a more realist approach? >> joe biden is the optimal optimist. pulling together the leaders in japan, australia, india and a grouping that is going to allow the united states to drive forward its agenda, its interests owing forward. and to lift up democracy as the form of government that can deliver for people. you heard him last night. you heard him yesterday about domestic renewal. you heard him today.
that's the broad answer to your question. the more specific answer is let's take you to those intern turn. on saudi arabia, the president said he was going to change and he has. he has not only removed american support from offensive operations in yemen, he has also taken additional steps to sanction individuals and publish the last minute ration was not prepared to do. an unclassified report on the murder of jamal khashoggi. he is also indicated to the saudi's that going forward, we are not going to give them the blank check like the last minute ration did. at the end of the day, his metric is what's going to -- the last administration did. -- we reduce humanitarian
suffering and get de-escalation the reason that in the region so that we -- escalation -- and get de-escalation in the region. we believe we are making progress as a result of his policy. if you look at russia and china, he has both taken a firm line with respect to russia including working with the europeans for the poisoning of navalny and preparing additional sponsors that russia has conducted. as far as china is concerned, the united states, he has said repeatedly, believes we are going to end up in a stiff connotation -- competition with china. we need to be able to prevail. that is 100% in-line with everything that joe biden said the campaign trail. 50 days end, we believe we are in a better position to deal with the challenge from china that we were the day he took office.
>> thanks for coming in to take my quest. want to ask you -- taking my question. joe biden went to guatemala in the summer of 2014. you were on that trip as national security advisor. one of the things said on that trip was we must first make clear each of our countries and an unrelenting way not just as a public service announcement that there is no free pass, that none of these children or women bringing children will be eligible under the existing law and the united states of america. he said that was number one. he went on to describe causes. why has that not been the message that this white house is sending now? clear and relenting -- clear and unrelenting? >> the president has made clear
in -- has made clear and this administration has made clear that we are going to unwind what we believe was the in effective and inhumane policy of the last few years. we make clear that now is not the time to come to united states. we are dealing with circumstance in which we have to build the capacity to be able to assess the asylum claims of individuals who arrived here and we have to deal with the obvious health effects of the pandemic. we are -- the president also believes that people who are claiming asylum deserve to have their cases heard properly, effectively, efficiently and as swiftly as possible. >> clearly and unrelenting way. he said this president seems more friendly to him then the prior one. and he believes he will be able
to come to united states. >> we need to be able to cuny cake from a range -- communicate . we will continue to do so as we go forward. >> next week's meeting, do you think export control will be part of the talk? what does china need to do? mr. sullivan: i don't expect that the phase one trade deal will be a major topic of conversation. this is our effort to communicate clearly to the chinese government how the united states precede in a strategic level. and they're concerned with what our activities are. the issues that we heard today from our quad partners, the
harassment around the islands, the aggression with -- the aggression on the border with india. we will communicate that the united states is going to take steps in terms of what we do on technology to ensure that our technology is not being used in ways that are medical -- entails -- in terms of the broad details, we have more work to do to come up with a common approach, a joint approach before we go sit down point by point with the chinese government on these issues. we also want to bring other keeper percentages, senior economic purpose and tips into those conversations. >> -- once a seat more security operation with the quad.
increasing the potential cost to china. mr. sullivan: the way that we look at this is the quad is not a military alliance. what it is is an opportunity for these four democracies to work as a group and -- to work as a group. i'm not went to get into detail on what the elements of that security will look like because we have work to do as an emergent institution to define what that will look like. maritime security is already part of the agenda. disaster response and the work of our military in that space is on the agenda. where we go from there on everything from freedom of navigation, that has to be
worked through. we will see how that unfolds. >> thank you. we report that india using teleprompter equipment. is that something that the united states welcomes? >>the united states mr. sullivan: the united states as its presence concerned about -- this is a sovereign decision for india to make, but we certainly think that think it's consistent with the decisions we made and advocated as well. >> temporary u.s. band -- temporary u.s. band could affect -- to permit u.s. ban. is the u.s. open to using that
to easing that ban? mr. sullivan: we feel very good about our ability. i do not believe there is an export ban, but the united states will happily work with countries around the world to make sure that we are doing our part not just to make sure it last -- not just to make sure every citizen is vaccinated, but that the rest of the world is vaccinated as quickly as possible. i will leave it at that. thanks, guys. >> just have a couple of items at the top. given all the news, i want to give a brief overview of some of the announcements the president made about how we were going to give more detail on how we are want to be his commitment. ensuring that every american is
available to receive the vaccine by may 1, how we are going to expedite it and how we will get to the point that we will have barbecues. first, he announced he plans to deliver vaccines directly up to additional community health centers to reach underserved communities. this is a hugely important as we are talking about addressing access, vaccine hesitancy, meeting people where they are in communities. these health centers are trusted places and many committees where people go and get regular health services. this will dramatically increase that. we are going to double the number of pharmacies participating in the national pharmacy rogan. we announced that it was a pilot -- that it was a pilot -- national pharmacy program. the vaccine will be available at more than 20,000 pharmacies
across the country. we will more than double the number of vaccination sites. he talked about this in the speech and we have seen these in committees across the country. many of you have covered this where you can drive up in your car with your family members, get the vaccine and it is quite efficient. also announced the deployment of more than 4000 active-duty troops to support vaccination efforts bringing the total to over 6000. people who can give these vaccines, dentists, optometrists, veterinarians, physician assistants and many more. the last pete's desk the last piece of map -- the last piece of my announcement, next week the president, vice president, first lady and second gentlemen will hit the road to talk to the
people about the benefits of the american rescue plan. he will host an event at the white house on the implementation of the american rescue plan. tuesday, he will travel to delaware county, pennsylvania to amplify the american rescue plan. on friday, the president and vice president will travel to georgia to continue engaging with americans about how they will benefit from rescue plan. jonathan, go ahead. >> a number of lawmakers have called for the record that's resignation of governor cuomo. -- a number of lawmakers have called for the resignation of governor cuomo. does the president believe he should resign? >> the president believe that every woman has that the prisoner believes that every woman who has come forward deserves to have her -- the president's believes that every woman who has come forward deserves to have her story heard.
he supports that moving forward. if you have watch the news, the number of lawmakers call for that. i do not have any additional announcements. >> in light of the investigation that he has had power taken away, does the white house have confidence in cuomo? >> we don't want anyone in the state of new york to be penalized, meaning not have access to vaccines, to vaccinators. not have access to funding from the rescue plan. we will continue to work with a range of officials to get that done and get it that schempp limited. the president and -- we will continue to work with a range of officials to get that done and get it implemented. >> there are more than timmy and doses of the astrazeneca vaccine in the u.s. -- there are more
than -- there are doses of after seneca vaccine in the u.s. -- the company has appealed to administer racial and. why does the president not agree? >> as we have stated a few times, the president priority and focus is on ensuring that the american people are vaccinated. he made some significant announcements last night about the timeline of that. we will have enough doses in our hands i the end of may to ensure that we can make that happen. ashton -- i -- by the end of may to assure that we can make that happen. -- and that we have the ability to provide vaccines to the american public. there are 1400 people that are
dying in our country every single day and we need to focus on addressing that. at this time, there have been requests around the world from a number of countries who have requested doses from the united states and we have not provided doses from the united states government to anyone. this is not about europe. this is about our focus and our irony. that's our priority. the production of the after seneca -- astrazeneca. there is a contract obligation to deliver on the u.s. doses and to fulfill that contract. any company, astrazeneca is not an american company. they can work on a deal to get access to doses. >> we just heard from jake sullivan on immigration.
says there has to be a message in that region. if you want to send a message to migrants that the border is closed, shouldn't it be president biden who is clearly delivering that message? >> he made that absolutely clear. i expect he will look for the opportunity to do exactly that. i will note that he is one of the voices, jake sullivan is one of the boys -- jake sullivan is one of the voices. including partners we need to have in the regent to deliver the same message that now is not the time to come. that the majority of people are turned away at the border which is backed up by factual data. adults, families will be turned away in almost every scenario. that is part of the data and part of the information that we are looking to deliver in the region.
i think we know, we've seen the numbers. there are more children under the age of 18 that are coming across the border. that is consistent with what our policy has been. in terms of people who were turned away, who were coming to the border. those numbers, are they still making the journey? i know that's what people are looking at, that there are more children that are coming across the board and -- though border. >> this was a speech about their anniversary since the pandemic began. he spent a lot of time tallying success. there was no mention of the president under whose demonstration these vaccines were developed. dust former president not deserve any credit --does former president not deserve any credit? >> we have said this publicly.
the progress that was made was herculean by science and medical experts. we have applauded that in the past and are happy to applaud that again. i would say there is a clear difference and there are clear steps that have been taken since the president took office that have put us in a trajectory that we were not on an was inaugurated. leadership starts at the top. it includes mask wearing, acknowledging there is a pandemic, getting a vaccine and public. it includes eating in place and operational process that can ensure that we have enough vaccines, on a vaccinators, enough vaccine locations. none of that was in place when the president took office. >> it was operation warp speed that was invented, executed, initiated under the former president.
why don't you say, with -- we are glad that we have been able to move it forward? >> that is an excellent recommendation as eight speech writer, but the president has spoken to it in the past. he has applauded the work of medical experts and scientists and the prior ministration. what he has done since he took office -- the prior administration. ask americans to engage in the process and do what's needed to be done so we can get to those of july 4 barbecues. i would say that americans are looking for facts. they are looking for details. they are looking for specifics. i don't think they are worried about applause from six month ago. ahead. >> do you think leadership
coming at the top when getting covid mac -- vaccines out, but when you talked about immigration you're talking about leadership and others doing the work. >> i don't think that's what i said. >> you explain why president biden is not out there. jennifer: i actually started by saying he's doing that she did an interview with univision two weeks ago and will deliver that message and there are many who can be heard in the region and we will use a number of voices to communicate directly. >> we have heard from folks on the border of migrants who are being tested by the ngos. they tested 1700 and at least 204 positive test so far, over 9% positivity rate, when the double the national average.
what is the federal government doing to protect citizens of towns like that? jennifer: i'm not questioning the data but i certainly would refer to cdc. >> that is where we are getting it from. jennifer: there are a number of categories. individuals are -- i'm good to view and outline of testing. migrants entering facilities are tested upon intake and quarantined if they tested positive. unaccompanied children at the border receive a medical screening by a medical professional that includes medical assessment or health intake interviews, minor issues are treated on site and major issues are referred to a hospital. when a child is released, they quarantined for 10 to 14 days
and receive covid testing. those who are coming into the country and are treated with alternatives to detention, sometimes in bracelets and other means, dhhs works with public health officials to provide covid-19 testing and if needed testing. we have talked about that in terms of a proposal that was made in coordination with ngos and local authorities to fully cover and pay for the testing that up to this point the governor has declined. >> based on what you said before, it is just guidance that the migrants who test positive, many of them are instructed you should go and quarantine and isolate. does the administration know actually how many do versus how many just go off to wherever? jennifer: i just wanted to convey, the specific processes
are taken for scenarios. with the individuals who are coming across, alternatives to those who are treated with an ankle brace it while they are waiting for adjudication of their cases. those are the steps that are taken and recommendations. there is a proposal for testing all of these individuals as they come across pre-that is what our policy processes are. in terms of specific data, i would refer you to the cdc. >> do you know if there are any discussions about vaccinating some of the migrants that are being held for longer than in previous administrations to stop the spread in the shelters? jennifer: that is a really good question. >> we believe this to take you to the rose garden where president biden and vice