WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden delivered his first official news conference on Thursday in the White House to answer questions from reporters about the pandemic, immigration, and Republicans’ “politics of division.”
Biden doubled his goal on the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to 200 million doses on his first 100 days in office. He said his administration invested an additional $10 million in efforts to reach more people to receive the vaccine.
“Help is here and hope is on the way,” Biden said about the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package that includes individual payments of $1,400.
Biden said the reason immigrants are now coming to the U.S.-Mexico border in greater numbers is that the winter months reduce their risk of dying in the desert. The circumstances in their countries are the main motivation, he said.
“It happens every single solitary year. There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months. It happens every year,” Biden said, later adding that the current situation is “totally unacceptable.”
Biden said that to help address the challenge the U.S. Department of Defense is opening up military facilities to house the minors — including 5,000 new beds this week at the Fort Bliss Army base.