Monday, July 27, 2020

Readout from First Lady Melania Trump’s Virtual Roundtable with the Foster Youth Intern Group

Office of the First Lady
Readout from First Lady Melania Trump’s
Virtual Roundtable with the Foster Youth Intern Group
Today, First Lady Melania Trump participated in a virtual roundtable with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s (CCAI) Foster Youth Intern Group.  Mrs. Trump was joined by 12 foster youth interns, Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Lynn Johnson, and other administration officials for a briefing on the policy solutions and report the interns have been working on during their summer internship program.

In 2003, The Foster Youth Intern (FYI) Program was initiated to raise awareness to federal policymakers about the needs and views of children in the foster care system. The FYI Program interns spend time in a Congressional office researching policy issues affecting children in foster care. The interns then create a policy report that is presented to Members of Congress and released to child welfare advocates across the United States.

The First Lady opened the virtual roundtable thanking everyone for their participation and stressed to the interns the importance of their policy proposals and for the group to “let us know how the Executive Branch can better support foster children and families” and that “taking care of America’s children is a bipartisan effort, and we must never stop fighting for those who need us the most.”

Assistant Secretary Johnson provided remarks on the mission and work of the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The interns then briefed the First Lady and participants on their policy suggestions and emphasized the need for increased funding from Congress for access to technology and broadband services, transitional housing, and an increase in access for Social Workers, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The First Lady concluded by thanking the interns and emphasized that “...taking the time to understand what needs to change in order to support children and families, you have translated your experiences and your passion into action. Now, it is up to us to advance proposals like these, so that children and caregivers can see the benefits of your advocacy. As you continue to pursue your dreams, stay strong and know that we are all cheering for you.”


Lynn Johnson, Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Joshua Christian, Administration for Children and Families Intern and Former foster child
Kellyanne Conway, Assistant to the President and Senior Counselor
Brooke Rollins, Assistant to the President and Acting Director for Domestic Policy
Paige Agostin, Associate Director of Policy for the Office of the Vice President
Taylor Draddy, CCAI Foster Youth Intern Coordination Staff


Office of the Press Secretary
“Vaccines are coming along really well. Likewise therapeutics. Moving faster than anticipated.” – President Donald J. Trump
DEVELOPING EFFECTIVE VACCINES: President Donald J. Trump is harnessing the full power of the public and private sectors to deliver a safe and effective vaccine as soon as possible.
  • The President is using all available means to ensure safe vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics are developed, manufactured, and distributed in unprecedented time and scale in response to COVID-19.
  • Earlier this year, President Trump launched Operation Warp Speed, a groundbreaking partnership between the Federal Government, scientific community, and private sector to develop and deliver vaccines in record time.
    • Operation Warp Speed’s goal is to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January 2021.
  • The Administration has made large investments in multiple vaccine candidates to provide financial infrastructure for mass manufacturing, in parallel with late-stage clinical trials.
  • Operation Warp Speed is directing a colossal industrial mobilization to ensure the rapid delivery of an eventual safe vaccine.
SEEING TREMENDOUS PROGRESS: The President’s strategy for safely expediting vaccine development is already achieving incredible results.
  • There has been promising early data from clinical trials and manufacturing is ramping up as candidates go through late-stage trials.
  • Operation Warp Speed has invested in more than five vaccines and teamed up with multiple pharmaceutical companies to safely produce as many effective vaccines as possible.
  • A number of vaccine candidates have shown promising early clinical results and are either in or starting Phase 3 clinical trials, including AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Pfizer.
  • Several vaccine candidates are using the National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical trial network to help enroll individuals into the clinical trials.
UNLEASHING AMERICAN INGENUITY: President Trump has unleashed the power of American innovation in order to fight the invisible enemy.
  • The Trump Administration is using the whole of our Nation’s scientific genius to help combat COVID-19.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized more than 185 tests under emergency authorities, including more than 150 molecular tests and 30 antibody tests.
  • The FDA launched its Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program to facilitate new treatments for COVID-19 patients as quickly as possible.
  • A number of promising therapies for COVID-19, like Remdesivir, have been identified and are already in use.

President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate and Appoint the Following Individuals to Key Administration Posts

Office of the Press Secretary
President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate and Appoint the Following Individuals to Key Administration Posts
Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key positions in his Administration:

Colonel Douglas Macgregor, United States Army (Retired), of Pennsylvania, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Federal Republic of Germany.

Colonel Douglas Macgregor is a decorated combat veteran, author, and a consultant. Colonel Macgregor is widely recognized as an expert on force design and grand strategy.  He is a frequent radio and television commentator on national security affairs and his writings on military affairs have been influential in the transformation of United States ground forces, NATO, and the Israeli Defense Force.

During his military career, Colonel Macgregor worked in support of Ambassador Holbrooke’s team during the Proximity Talks in Dayton, Ohio.  Later, he worked closely with senior military and political leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany as the Chief of Strategic Planning and, subsequently, as the Director of the Joint Operations Center at Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe, during the Kosovo Air Campaign.

Colonel Macgregor earned a B.S. degree from the United States Military Academy and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Virginia.  He is the recipient of numerous awards from his military service, including the bronze star with “V” device for valor for his leadership under fire.

Mark C. Christie, of Virginia, to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Mark Christie is the Chairman of the Virginia State Corporation Commission.  He is one of the Nation’s longest-serving state utility regulators, having served for 16 years.

Mr. Christie has served in several leadership roles in multi-state organizations of state utility regulators.  He was elected president of the Organization of PJM States Inc., comprised of states in the PJM power markets region and served on the board for more than a decade.  He was also elected president of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of State Utility Regulators.

Mr. Christie is a graduate of Wake Forest University, where he earned Phi Beta Kappa honors.  He received his law degree from Georgetown.  Mr. Christie has taught extensively as an adjunct, including regulatory law at the University of Virginia School of Law and constitutional law and public policy in a doctoral program at Virginia Commonwealth University for 20 years.

Mr. Christie served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps.

Allison Clements, of Ohio, to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Allison Clements has over two decades of public and private sector experience in Federal energy regulation.  Ms. Clements is the founder and president of Goodgrid, LLC, an energy policy and strategy consulting firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Previously, Ms. Clements spent 2 years as director of the energy markets program at Energy Foundation.  Before this she worked for a decade at Natural Resources Defense Council in New York, New York, as the organization’s corporate counsel and then as director of the Sustainable FERC Project.

Ms. Clements also spent several years in private legal practice with the energy regulatory group at Troutman Sanders LLP (now Troutman Pepper) and then with the project finance and infrastructure group at Chadbourne & Parke LLP (now Norton Rose Fulbright).

Ms. Clements has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctorate from The George Washington University Law School.

Colonel Craig Duehring, United States Air Force (Retired), of Virginia, to be Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.

Colonel Craig Duehring was most recently the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, where he led a four-division department that was responsible for providing overall supervision of manpower, military and civilian personnel, Reserve component affairs, and readiness support for the Department of the Air Force.

Before this position, Colonel Duehring served 6 years as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.  He performed the duties of acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs during and following the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Colonel Duehring is a 28-year Air Force veteran, retiring in 1996.  He is a decorated combat pilot, completing more than 800 missions during the Vietnam War as a forward air controller.

Colonel Duehring is a graduate of Minnesota State University at Mankato and Troy State University. He is a recipient of the Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters, and the Air Medal with 26 oak leaf clusters, among other awards

Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key positions in his Administration:

Jon Harrison, of California, to be a Member and Chairperson of the Arctic Research Commission.

Michael Newton, of Tennessee, to be a Member of the Arctic Research Commission.


Office of the Press Secretary

South Lawn

1:42 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much.  The stock market is doing very well.  The economy is doing very well.  I think we’re going to have some tremendous numbers over the next number of months.  A lot of things are happening.

     I just had a meeting on vaccines and therapeutics, and it was a great meeting.  We had a lot of our wonderful doctors and researchers with me.  I think the meeting went really well.  We’re doing well on vaccines.  We’re doing well on therapeutics.  And now I'm heading to North Carolina to look exactly at that.

     Q    Have you seen Robert O’Brien lately?

     THE PRESIDENT:  No, I haven’t seen him lately.  I heard he --

     Q    Is he okay?

     THE PRESIDENT:  -- he tested.  Yeah.  I have not seen him.  I'm calling him later.

     Q    When did he first test positive?  When did he first test positive?

     THE PRESIDENT:  I don't know.  I don't know.

     Q    Mr. President, do you plan on paying your respects to Congressman Lewis either today or tomorrow on the Capitol?

     THE PRESIDENT:  No, I won’t be going.  No.

     Q    Mr. President, three years ago, you tweeted about (inaudible).

     THE PRESIDENT:  I can't hear you.  Go ahead.

     Q    Three years ago, you tweeted out a ban on transgender people in the military.  Would you reconsider that?

     THE PRESIDENT:  I can't hear a word you're saying.

     Q    Mr. President, on the executive order -- the executive order that you signed on Friday, lowering prescription drug prices, why did you wait until three and a half years into your presidency to sign those executive orders?

     THE PRESIDENT:  We have a great thing happening with lowering of the drug prices.  The drug prices in our country will be coming down very substantially.  I was given that right because of the DACA decision.  The DACA decision allowed me to do things that some people thought the President didn’t have the right to do.  I was given that right.  Drug prices will be coming down very, very substantially.  No other President has been allowed to do that.  No other President has been able to do that.  No President has ever done what I've done for prescription drug prices -- and, by the way, for many other things too.

     Thank you.

                                  END                1:45 P.M. EDT

West Wing Reads If You Climb on Top of and Beat an Innocent Stranger's Car, You're a Violent Criminal Who Deserves Prison

West Wing Reads

If You Climb on Top of and Beat an Innocent Stranger's Car, You're a Violent Criminal Who Deserves Prison

The violence in Portland and other major U.S. cities is “slowly percolating across entire cityscapes, and unless these criminals are treated as such, there is zero incentive for this to end,” Tiana Lowe writes in the Washington Examiner.

“Nip these escalations in the bud, lest [more places] become Seattle, where law enforcement is so restrained they're warning property and business owners that they can no longer help them.”

Click here to read more and watch the videos.
“Many media outlets have steadfastly described the violent riots that have gripped cities across the country in recent months as ‘mostly peaceful protests.’ What’s left out of this absurd description is the arson, assault, vandalism, and wanton destruction that people can view through social media or with their own eyes,” Mollie Hemingway writes in The Federalist.
President Trump will tour a North Carolina plant today that is working quickly toward a Coronavirus vaccine. “Trump will discuss the collaboration between his administration and the private sector to rapidly develop a vaccine and ensure accelerated manufacturing and distribution once ready,” Matthew Burns reports for North Carolina’s WRAL News.
“American workers and businesses have a shared interest in developing high-quality skills for the workplace—and that this doesn’t necessarily require a four-year degree. Instead, there are a broad range of courses, certifications, and apprenticeships that give workers the skills they need for growing fields like health care, cybersecurity, and the skilled trades,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia write in The Advocate.

First Lady Melania Trump Announces Plans to Restore and Enhance the White House Rose Garden

Office of the First Lady
First Lady Melania Trump Announces Plans to Restore and Enhance the White House Rose Garden 
First Lady Melania Trump is pleased to announce a significant renewal of the White House Rose Garden this summer.

The restoration of this historic garden is a much-anticipated project meant to improve one of the most iconic locations on the White House grounds. The final design plan is the result of a collaboration by two premier landscape architecture firms, Perry Guillot, Inc and Oehme, van Sweden & Associates/OvS.

The plan will provide a renewal of the design first implemented by Rachel Lambert “Bunny” Mellon during the Kennedy Administration, which has been the guiding blueprint for the Rose Garden since that installation in 1962. Decades of use and necessary changes made to support the modern presidency have taken a toll on the garden and have made it more difficult to appreciate the elegant symmetry of the Mellon plan.

The refreshment of the Rose Garden will return it to its original ‘62 footprint and help ensure it will thrive with improved infrastructure, better drainage, and a healthier environment for plantings that reduce the risk of leaf blight. In addition, the plans include improved Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility, utilities, and support for audiovisual and broadcasting needs that will allow for the continued enjoyment of the garden’s natural beauty and storied history.

“The very act of planting a garden involves hard work and hope in the possibility of a bright future,” said First Lady Melania Trump. “Preserving the history and beauty of the White House and its grounds is a testament to our nation’s commitment to the care of this landscape and our dedication to American ideals, safeguarding them for our children and their children for generations to come.”

The plan for renewal went through the approval process of the Committee for the Preservation of the White House (CPWH) and aligned with the recommendations of their sub-committee, Committee for the Preservation of the White House Grounds (CPWHG). As the honorary chairwoman of CPWH, the First Lady established CPWHG to ensure the standards of the Rose Garden are maintained and ensure scholarship and research went into its renewal. The project is supported by the National Park Service, who has cared for the White House and its grounds since 1933, and funded with private donations.
Please click HERE to view the full Rose Garden landscape report.

President Donald J. Trump Approves Texas Emergency Declaration

Office of the Press Secretary
President Donald J. Trump Approves Texas Emergency Declaration
Today, President Donald J. Trump declared that an emergency exists in the State of Texas and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Hurricane Hanna beginning on July 25, 2020, and continuing.

The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Aransas, Bee, Bexar, Brazoria, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, Dimmit, Duval, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Hidalgo, Jackson, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, La Salle, Live Oak, Matagorda, McMullen, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Starr, Victoria, Webb, Wharton, Willacy, and Zapata.

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.  Emergency protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance and reimbursement for mass care including evacuation and shelter support will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding.

Pete Gaynor, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Jerry S. Thomas as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.