Joe Biden holds first town hall forum of his presidency

Wednesday, 17 Feb, 2021

Within two days of Biden's inauguration, first lady Jill Biden entertained union leaders at the White House and reiterated that teachers' unions "will always have a seat at the table" in the administration.

When asked how schools could reopen when most are located in "red zones" of high community transmission, where the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended more-limited reopenings, Ms. Harris said: "What they have recommended are exactly that-recommendations about how to reopen safely if they've been closed, how to stay open if they've been opened". "Teachers should be a priority", Harris said.

"One of the most serious pieces of damage done by the last administration was the politicising of the Justice Department", he said.

Biden said that kids in grades K-8 should go back to school, but that it's "harder" to get high schools open without a rehaul of school ventilation systems. "I don't have a prediction on the timeline for that", she said.

We have conducted an in-depth review of the available science and evidence base to guide our recommendations, and we have also engaged with many education and public-health partners, to hear firsthand from parents and teachers, directly, about their experiences and concerns.

The CDC explained that it's essential to decide when and under what conditions schools would open, in order to help protect students, teachers and staff, while also slowing the spread of COVID-19. The town hall was aimed at selling his $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package directly to the American people, part of an effort designed in part to put pressure on Republican lawmakers and refocus Congress on speedy passage of the bill now that his predecessor's impeachment trial is behind him.

How do you define success when it comes to reopening schools in the pandemic?

Even if the residence still feels new, Mr Biden suggested he has already settled deeply into the work of the presidency.

Cooper pressed Biden on whether he meant that the vaccine would be available or whether the shots would have been administered by that time.

"Yes, I have", said Biden.

Biden's comments came as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the administration will increase the vaccine supply to states to 13.5 million doses per week, up from 11 million last week.

Biden once again urged Americans to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.

Biden shut down talk of canceling $50,000 in student debt via executive action, as was proposed in a resolution earlier this month by key Democrats: "I will not make that happen". He said he believes he lacks the authority to forgive student loan debt on a larger scale.

"That's what was reported, that's not true", Biden said. Biden made the comments while speaking at a CNNtown hall in Wisconsin.

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"A year from now I think that there'll be significantly fewer people that have to be socially distanced, have to wear a mask", Biden said, adding that he couldn't be sure.