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Sunak could delay autumn Budget over second wave fears

first_img Show Comments ▼ Second wave fears: Rishi Sunak could delay autumn Budget Britain risks a second wave of Covid-19 in the winter twice as large as the initial outbreak if it reopens schools full-time without improving its test-and-trace system, according to a study published last week. whatsapp Ad Unmute by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeDaily FunnyFemale Athlete Fails You Can’t Look Away FromDaily FunnyUndoNoteableyJulia Robert’s Daughter Turns 16 And Looks Just Like Her MomNoteableyUndobonvoyaged.comThese Celebs Are Complete Jerks In Real Life.bonvoyaged.comUndoBeach RaiderMom Belly Keeps Growing, Doctor Sees Scan And Calls CopsBeach RaiderUndoDefinitionThe 20 Worst Draft Picks Ever – Ryan Leaf Doesn’t Even Crack The Top 5DefinitionUndoOne-N-Done | 7-Minute Workout7 Minutes a Day To a Flat Stomach By Using This 1 Easy ExerciseOne-N-Done | 7-Minute WorkoutUndoFinanceChatterViewers Had To Look Away When This Happened On Live TVFinanceChatterUndoJustPerfact USAMan Decides to File for Divorce After Taking a Closer Look at This Photo!   JustPerfact USAUndoBleacherBreaker4 Sisters Take The Same Picture For 40 Years. Don’t Cry When You See The Last One!BleacherBreakerUndo Finance minister Rishi Sunak is weighing options to shelve his autumn Budget if the UK suffers a big second wave of the coronavirus, it is reported. whatsapp And today GDP data confirmed the UK is in its worst recession on record, after a record 20.4 per cent plunge in GDP over the second quarter. “If we have a series of local lockdowns and a second spike, it’s not clear that would be the right time for a Budget.” But the Budget could be postponed until spring 2021. If so, Sunak would be expected to produce a “mini-spending review” in the autumn, allocating spending to departments for just a single year, the FT said. “While it’s very likely to happen, there is an element of uncertainty,” an ally of Sunak’s told the FT. Rishi Sunak could delay the autumn Budget until spring 2021 over fears of a second wave in the UK (POOL/AFP via Getty Images) Also Read: Second wave fears: Rishi Sunak could delay autumn Budget Rishi Sunak could delay the autumn Budget until spring 2021 over fears of a second wave in the UK (POOL/AFP via Getty Images) Rishi Sunak could delay the autumn Budget until spring 2021 over fears of a second wave in the UK (POOL/AFP via Getty Images) Also Read: Second wave fears: Rishi Sunak could delay autumn Budget Yesterday UK employment data showed 730,000 Brits have lost their jobs since the start of lockdown. The government wants all pupils to return to school by early September, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling this a national priority. Wednesday 12 August 2020 7:25 am While Sunak expects to deliver his Budget as planned, it is a sign of government anxiety over a possible autumn coronavirus spike that he is ready to delay big public spending decisions until after the crisis, the Financal Times said. But Sunak is reportedly uncertain autumn would be the best time to introduce spending cuts or tax rises if the UK is battling a second wave. Share Reuters The Office for Budget Responsibility has estimated the government will borrow £372bn this year to pay for the shortfall between tax revenues and public spending.last_img read more

Quindell share price soars after it denies Nationwide Accident sale speculation

first_img Thursday 20 November 2014 8:30 pm Ollie Gordon Flailing insurance outsourcing firm Quindell saw its shares jump over 30 per cent yesterday as it denied rumours it was looking to sell its 25 per cent stake in Nationwide Accident Repair Services.Quindell, which provides claims processing technology to car insurers among other services, issued a statement in response to social media speculation that it was desperately seeking to offload its share in the British building society’s vehicle repair service.The company said in the one-sentence statement: “Quindell, a market leading global provider of professional services and digital solutions, confirms that, contrary to speculation, it is not actively seeking to sell its shares in Nationwide Accident Repair Services.”Quindell’s share price has been on a roller-coaster ride in recent months, easily among one of the London Stock Exchange’s most volatile stocks. It inflated as much as 32 per cent to 56.75p in morning trading yesterday before tapering off to 53p at the close.Shares in Nationwide Accident Repairs Services were down seven per cent to 69.25p.The Hampshire-based Quindell has been through the wringer recently, with the company losing £2bn in market value in just a matter of months. Founder and chairman Rob Terry resigned earlier this week, together with two other Quindell directors, after the company disclosed a complex share-transfer agreement that saw the three directors sell shares to a US securities-backed lender in exchange for cash to buy more Quindell shares. whatsapp Share by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May Likezenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.comMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailPost FunGreat Songs That Artists Are Now Embarrassed OfPost FunMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity MirrorLoan Insurance WealthDolly Parton, 74, Takes off Makeup, Leaves Us With No WordsLoan Insurance WealthPast Factory4 Sisters Take The Same Picture For 40 Years. Don’t Cry When You See The Last One!Past FactoryThe No Cost Solar ProgramGet Paid To Install Solar + Tesla Battery For No Cost At Install and Save Thousands.The No Cost Solar ProgramElite HeraldKate Middleton Just Dropped An Unexpected Baby BombshellElite Heraldcenter_img Read This Next’A Quiet Place Part II’ Sets Pandemic Record in Debut WeekendFamily ProofHiking Gadgets: Amazon Deals Perfect For Your Next AdventureFamily ProofAmazon roars for MGM’s lion, paying $8.45 billion for studio behind JamesFamily ProofIndian Spiced Vegetable Nuggets: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofBack on the Rails for Summer New York to New Orleans, Savannah and MiamiFamily ProofYoga for Beginners: 3 Different Types of Yoga You Should TryFamily ProofChicken Bao: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofCheese Crostini: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofHomemade Tomato Soup: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily Proof Tags: Quindell Show Comments ▼ whatsapp Quindell share price soars after it denies Nationwide Accident sale speculation last_img read more

Florida ‘critical thinking’ teacher arrested for having sex with high school student

first_imgAdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments CVS to vaccinate Florida teachers under 50 despite age restrictions March 5, 2021 Reed was put on administrative leave on Feb. 10. She is currently in custody with the Highland County School Board. RELATEDTOPICS AdvertisementThe high school boy said the two met at Reed’s home, car, and even in the closet of her classroom during the relationship. Reed, reportedly, told the boy not to tell anyone or her kids would get taken away. A student reported the incident after seeing nude pictures of Reed on the 15-year-old’s phone, WFLA reports. Advertisement AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments SEBRING, Fla. (WFLA) – A Florida high school teacher is facing charges after she allegedly had an on-going sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy. 30-year-old Ariel Reed, a critical thinking teacher at Sebring High School, is facing 10 counts of sexual battery after she was arrested on February 12, according to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office. Reed was hired in 2014 and had been teaching critical thinking since 2019, according to the Highland County School Board. The 15-year-old told detectives they started to have sexual encounters during Christmas break after Reed was driving the boy to and from school, WFLA reports. AdvertisementTags: StudentTeacher Substitute teacher arrested for hitting two students March 5, 2021 DeSantis proposes $1,000 bonuses for Florida teachers & principals April 1, 2021 Advertisement Student arrested for writing threat on bathroom door at Collier County school April 2, 2021last_img read more

Late surge from Killenard secures them the Roinn 7 Camogie final against Mountmellick

first_imgHome GAA Cumann na mBunscol Late surge from Killenard secures them the Roinn 7 Camogie final against… GAACumann na mBunscolSport Late surge from Killenard secures them the Roinn 7 Camogie final against Mountmellick WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Here are all of Wednesday’s Laois GAA results Pinterest Twitter Teams:KILLENARD: Roisin Kehoe, Orlaith Lindsay, Sinead Slevin, Holly Hanway, Aoibhe McMahon, Neala Byrne, Aoibheann Stynes, Sophie Tallon,  Emilie Turley, Amie Maher, Abbie Stapleton, Maya Lyons, Sonia Charri, Ciara Brereton, Ava Leahy.MOUNTMELLICK: Chelsea Lee, Gloria Pedro, Aisha Ikeje, Emma Bergin, Sarah Coyle, Roise Culleton, Michelle Conroy, Jennifer Lovett, Ciara Quaile, Elaina Dunne, Shauna Gorman, Jessica O’Neill, Lauren Daly, Ava Baxter, Lucy Connolly, Orna Grant, Sarah Hickey, Amber Duggan, Nicole Dunne, Laura Coss, Katie Dunne.SEE ALSO – 20 reasons we all remember the Cumann na mBunscol Previous articleAll of the reports and results from Day 2 of the Cumann na mBunscol finalsNext articleClassy Cullohill claim camogie crown once more Sean HennessyA former Knockbeg student, and is currently a student in the University of Limerick trying to scrape a BA in History and Politics. A marquee player in the goals for Annanough, but well capable of doing a job in full-forward and has the knack to turn his hand to any sport (except running). Only starting out in his journalistic career but already the specialist farming and property reporter. Happiest when Liverpool and Laois are winning! Ten Laois based players named on Leinster rugby U-18 girls squad TAGScamogieCumann na mBunscol 2018KillenardMountmellick center_img By Sean Hennessy – 17th May 2018 Facebook Pinterest Rugby WhatsApp Kelly and Farrell lead the way as St Joseph’s claim 2020 U-15 glory GAA RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Killenard who captured the Roinn 7 Camogie title today. Killenard 2-7  Mountmellick 2-3Laois Cumann na mBunscol Roinn 7 Camogie FinalTwo very evenly match sides contest the Roinn 7 Camogie final today, and in the dying minutes it was Killenard who just pulled away from their Mountmellick rivals.The opening half was one of good defensive displays with both sides struggling to open up either defence but it was Killenard who opened up a good two point lead.The first two points were scored by Killenard’s Aoibhe McMahon, with both points coming from a long way out. The lead was cut to one when Roise Culleton slotted over for Mountmellick.Mountmellick then raced in to a two point lead when forward Michelle Conroy powered past the defenders and slotted home a lovely goal. Killenard’s Holly Hanway then reduced the lead to just one with a point before the break. Mountmellick led 1-1 to 0-3.The second half was a fast flowing game with plenty of opportunities for both sides. Sophie Tallon’s goal sparked like back into Killenard, despite Emma Bergin rattling the net soon after for Mountmellick.Mountmellick, who lost out to Killenard today in the Roinn 7 Camogie finalMichelle Conroy found space and struck a lovely point to give two point lead but Killenard then took over the driving seat as three points from the impressive Aoibhe McMahon and an excellent goal by Sophie Tallon stole the lead for Killenard.Trailing by four points heading into the dying minutes of the game, Mountmellick went in search of scores to get back level but they came up short in their search to reverse the six point swing. Killenard went away the victors in what was a very entertaining Roinn 7 Camogie final.Scorers – Killenard: Aoibhe McMahon 0-6, Sophie Tallon 2-0, Holly Hanway 0-1 Mountmellick: Michelle Conroy 1-1, Emma Bergin 1-0, Roise Culleton 0-2. GAA last_img read more

Local Property Tax rate to remain unchanged in Laois

first_imgSEE ALSO – Lose anything at Electric Picnic? Here is how you could get it back Home News Local Property Tax rate to remain unchanged in Laois News TAGSLocal Property Tax Pinterest Twitter Community Facebook By Alan Hartnett – 11th September 2018 Charlie Flanagan on Electric Picnic: ‘I’d ask organisers to consult with community leaders’ Laois County Councillors have voted unanimously to leave the Property Tax Rate in the county unchanged.The Council earned €492,000 from the tax last year and that was used to service roads, graveyards, playgrounds and much more.Director of Services Gerry Murphy told how over 12,000 properties in Laois are valued in the lowest band between €1 and €100,000 and they pay €90.Around 11,000 properties are in the €100,000 to €150,000 category and they each pay €225.While just 1% of properties in Laois fall into the over €300,000 band and they pay €595.Laois County Council gets to keep 80% of the money generated from this and the remaining 20% goes into a national fund which is redistributed among all of the councils.The Council also plays the property tax and all local authority homes and this amounted to €200,000 last year.All of the Councillors in the chamber commended the Council staff for how they have used the funds generated from this to carry out various projects around the county. Facebook WhatsAppcenter_img Five Laois monuments to receive almost €200,000 in government funding Local Property Tax rate to remain unchanged in Laois Previous articleLose anything at Electric Picnic? Here is how you could get it backNext articlePortlaoise man shines at Irish Hair and Beauty Awards Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. WhatsApp Community Pinterest RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Council New Arles road opens but disquiet over who was invited to official openinglast_img read more

TSX set to rise following sharp decline

Related news TSX gets lift from financials, U.S. markets rise to highest since March Keywords Marketwatch Toronto stock market dips on weakness in the energy and financials sectors Share this article and your comments with peers on social media S&P/TSX composite hits highest close since March on strength of financials sector U.S. futures were also positive as investors got some good news two days before the release of the U.S. non-farm payrolls report for February. Payroll company ADP reported that the American private sector created 216,000 jobs during the month. Economists have expected the report to say that overall 210,000 jobs were created last month in the U.S. That would be the third consecutive month that the U.S. has racked up job gains of at least 200,000. The Dow Jones industrial futures gained 51 points to 12,795, the Nasdaq futures were ahead 12.2 points to 2,601.8 while the S&P 500 futures advanced 5.7 points to 1,347.6. The TSX and the Dow plunged about 200 points on Tuesday after slower growth prospects for China and data showing the eurozone economy contracted in the fourth quarter of last year raised worries about the strength of a global economy still trying to recover from the 2008 financial crisis and recession. Commodity prices were higher after economic concerns sent oil, copper and gold sharply lower. The April crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 49 cents to US$105.19 a barrel after losing US$2 Wednesday. Copper prices stabilized after demand concerns sent the metal tumbling 12 cents and the May contract was unchanged at US$3.74 a pound. And the April gold contract in New York rose $9.60 to US$1,681.70 an ounce. Greece also again weighed on markets over concerns the country won’t attract enough investor support for a deal meant to head off a messy default. Thursday marks the last day the country’s private creditors can sign up to a deal meant to slash €106 billion off Athens’ books. They have been asked to accept to swap their bonds for new ones with a face value that is 53% lower and with longer maturities and lower interest rates. Some creditors, including hedge funds, are thought to be weighing up the benefits of holding out for a potentially bigger insurance return. If the takeup is below 90%, but still above the crucial 66% threshold for the deal to go ahead, the Greek government could force holdouts to accept the swap. That may be considered a credit event — a technical term for a default — meaning bond insurers would have to pay the Greek bondholders. In earnings news, copper miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (TSX:FM) said after the market close Tuesday that net quarterly earnings were $76 million, or 16 cents per share, compared to $454.7 million a year ago. During that quarter, the company benefited from a $510.8-million sale of investments. Revenues were $567.3 million, down from $707.8 million a year earlier. Earnings were affected by lower realized copper prices, lower sales volumes and inflationary cost pressures. Ontario-based auto parts manufacturer Linamar Corp. (TSX:LNR) also reported Tuesday that quarterly net income rose to $27 million or 42 cents per share on $718 million of sales. Patent licensing company Wi-LAN (TSX:WIN) posted net income of US$31.8 million, or 25 cents per share on a diluted level, in the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2011 with US$105.8 million of revenue. Those are records for the company and compare with a loss of $21.6 million or 21 cents per share for 2010 when Wi-LAN generated $49.2 million in annual revenue. Wi-LAN also said it is raising its dividend to three cents per share, up 20% from the previous quarterly dividend level. Elsewhere on the corporate front, Air Canada’s (TSX:AC.B) largest union has served notice that it intends to begin a strike at 12:01 a.m. ET on March 12 unless a new contract is signed by then. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers represents about 8,600 mechanics, baggage handlers and cargo agents. The workers had rejected a tentative contract settlement signed in February. Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS) said Wednesday it has agreed to buy New Orleans-based boutique energy investment firm Howard Weil Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Howard Weil specializes in providing equity research, institutional sales and trading, and investment banking services for the oil and gas industry. And Apple is holding an event Wednesday in San Francisco, and has hinted that it will reveal a new iPad model. Rumours speak of an updated tablet with a speedier processor, a sharper screen and an option for faster wireless broadband access. European bourses were positive with London’s FTSE 100 index up 0.34%, Frankfurt’s DAX gained 0.2% and the Paris CAC 40 rose 0.64%. Earlier, Asian markets were negative as Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.6%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 0.9% and South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.9%. In mainland China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.7% while the Shenzhen Composite Index for China’s second, smaller exchange lost 0.5%. The Toronto stock market looked set to claw back some of the sharp losses from the previous session Wednesday as commodity prices advanced. The Canadian dollar was little changed, down to 0.06 of a cent at 99.88 cents US after closing below parity Tuesday for the first time since Feb. 10. Malcolm Morrison Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more

Canada meets global standards: Report

first_img Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Share this article and your comments with peers on social media James Langton business people standing in line under a magnifying glass aleutie/123RF Companies International Organization of Securities Commissions The report is based on a peer review of Canada’s legal, regulatory and oversight framework carried out between August 2017 and April 2018, and reflects the status of Canada’s regime as of June 30, 2017.The report notes a few areas in which the Canadian regime deviates from the global principles, including liquidity risk management and principles for trade repositories. It adds that Canadian authorities have pledged to “address, as appropriate, the findings of the report.”The global principles apply to all systemically important payment systems, central securities depositories, securities settlement systems, central counterparties and trade repositories. In Canada, payment systems are jointly regulated by the Bank of Canada and the Department of Finance Canada; CCPs, securities depositories and settlement systems are jointly regulated by the Bank of Canada and provincial securities regulators; trade repositories are overseen by the securities regulators.IOSCO and the CPMI note that they will continue to monitor the implementation of the FMI principles in various jurisdictions. The oversight of financial market infrastructure in Canada is largely meeting beefed-up, post-crisis standards, global banking and securities organizations announced today.A new report from the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), indicates that the legal, regulatory and oversight frameworks for financial market infrastructure (FMI) in Canada generally comply with the latest set of global principles. The study found that components of the financial infrastructure such as clearing and settlement firms, payment systems and central counterparties (CCPs) meet the latest standards set to to ensure the stability of the financial system through by monitoring the safety and efficiency of infrastructure firms. last_img read more

Privacy safeguards examined in COVIDSafe Assessment Program

first_imgPrivacy safeguards examined in COVIDSafe Assessment Program The handling of personal information by COVIDSafe is being audited by the national privacy regulator for compliance with strict protections put in place by the Australian Government, with the first report due by the end of the year.COVIDSafe is the app that has been made available by the Australian Government to help facilitate contact tracing.The report will contain findings and recommendations from the first in a series of five assessments by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk said the assessments are examining compliance and risk throughout the ‘information lifecycle’ of COVID app data.“The privacy protections within the system were enshrined in law to give Australians confidence that their personal information will be safeguarded when they download and use the app,” Commissioner Falk said.“The changes to the Privacy Act 1988 also provided additional oversight powers for my office, including over state and territory health authorities accessing COVID app data.“Our assessment program is examining the handling of personal information as it travels through the COVIDSafe app system, from notification, collection and storage, to access and deletion, including when the National COVIDSafe Data Store is deleted at the end of the pandemic.”On 16 May the Australian Government amended the Privacy Act to insert a new Part VIIIA to protect COVID app data and provide the OAIC with an oversight and assurance role.The COVIDSafe provisions prohibit certain conduct in relation to the app, limit the purpose for which data may be collected, used or disclosed, require data to be stored in and not disclosed outside Australia, and set penalties for breaches of the law.The provisions also extend existing regulatory powers to allow the OAIC to conduct an assessment of whether the acts or practices of an entity (including a state or territory authority) comply with the Australian Privacy Principles or Part VIIIA, and to require an entity or authority to give information or produce documents.The COVIDSafe Assessment Program is examining:access controls applied to the National COVIDSafe Data Store by the Data Store Administratoraccess controls applied to the use of COVID app data by state or territory health authoritiesfunctionality of the COVIDSafe app against specified privacy protections set out under the COVIDSafe privacy policy and collection notices, and against the requirements of Part VIIIAcompliance of the Data Store Administrator with data handling and deletion requirements under Part VIIIA, andthe compliance of the Data Store Administrator with the deletion and notification requirements in Part VIIIA which relate to the end of the pandemic.Reports will be published on the OAIC’s website following the completion of each COVIDSafe assessment. The Australian Information Commissioner will also report every six months on the performance of her powers under or in relation to Part VIIIA of the Privacy Act. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Australia, Australian, Australian Government, australian information commissioner, Commissioner, Download, Government, law, OAIC, pandemic, penalty, websitelast_img read more

Byron Bay visitors and locals urged to celebrate season responsibly

first_imgByron Bay visitors and locals urged to celebrate season responsibly Tweed/Byron Police District is urging visitors and locals alike to celebrate responsibly in the Byron Bay area this Christmas and New Year period.The festive season has seen a continued influx of visitors to the area and an increase in large public gatherings around the Byron town centre, which have required significant clean-up efforts due to the amount of rubbish left behind.Under the current restrictions, outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than 100 people in a public place including beaches and parks.Police have conducted an extensive high-visibility operation, dispersing large crowds gathered at Apex Park, on Thursday 24 and Friday 25 (December 2020). The public are reminded this area is an alcohol-free zone, which effectively prohibits the consumption of alcohol in any public place.In addition, police attended the National Park area at Tyagarah around midnight yesterday (Saturday 26 December 2020, where an illegally organised party was being held.In the early hours of this morning (Sunday 27 December 2020), police again attended Apex Park after a large number of people gathered. Police moved on the group and ensured the alcohol they were consuming was tipped out.Following this, police attended Main Beach and Belongil Beach after approximately 300 people gathered at each location. The parties were closed down by police and the crowd was moved on.About 200 people were dispersed and music equipment seized with 73 parking infringements issued. Police are liaising with National Parks and Wildlife regarding further infringements for organisers/attendees.Tweed/Byron Police District Commander, Superintendent David Roptell, is appealing for those involved to respect the environment and be mindful of the amount of rubbish that is being left behind.“It’s not fair for council workers and locals to have to clean the significant mess that is being left after each of these gatherings. I urge those who are intent on meeting in parks and beaches to not only do so safely but be respectful to the environment and those around you by cleaning up after yourself,” Supt Roptell said.Superintendent Roptell added that police will continue to focus on maintaining a safe and fun atmosphere; however, officers will not tolerate anyone who risks their safety or the safety of others with foolish behaviour.“This year’s Christmas and New Year’s celebrations must be conducted in a COVID-safe environment,” Supt Roptell said.“In saying that, we have a very clear message to those choosing to come to Byron over the Christmas and New Year period – this year is very different, there will be no large gatherings, no dance parties in the park. Social distancing is the new normal, and we all have to do our bit to stop the spread.“The NSW Police Force continues to work closely with health officials and other government agencies, businesses and the community to manage the COVID-19 crisis and minimise the spread of the virus.” Supt Roptell said.Anyone who has information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of a COVID-19-related ministerial direction is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: Information is treated in strict confidence. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Alcohol, atmosphere, Australia, Byron Bay, community, council, covid-19, crisis, environment, Government, influx, New South Wales, NSW, NSW Police, operation, police, season, wildlifelast_img read more

U.S. President Biden’s Remarks in a CNN Town Hall with Anderson Cooper

first_imgU.S. President Biden’s Remarks in a CNN Town Hall with Anderson Cooper The White HousePabst TheaterMilwaukee, Wisconsin(February 16, 2021)7:59 P.M. CSTMR. COOPER: And welcome. We are live in the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This is a CNN Presidential Town Hall — the first with President Joe Biden. I’m Anderson Cooper. President Biden is just four weeks into his presidency and facing multiple crises: nearly 500,000 of our fellow citizens — Americans — have died from COVID-19, millions out of work right now, and a nation dangerously divided.Tonight, we’re going to be answering questions from the American people. The President will be answering questions from the American people on his first official trip since taking office. Some of the questioners here voted for him. Some did not.The President and I will not be wearing masks on this stage. He, of course, has been vaccinated. Over the past several weeks, I have repeatedly tested negative for coronavirus — as recently as yesterday and this morning as well. We will however be keeping our distance from one another, and the audience is very limited, socially distanced, and all wearing masks when they’re seated.With that, I want to welcome the 46th President of the United States, President Joe Biden. (Applause.)THE PRESIDENT: Hey, Anderson.MR. COOPER: How are you, sir?THE PRESIDENT: Good to see you, man. Hey, folks. How are you? (Applause.) Good to be back, man.MR. COOPER: Yeah, it’s nice to see you, sir.THE PRESIDENT: And you know you enjoy being home with the baby more. I don’t want to hear this.MR. COOPER: (Laughs.) I do. Yes. He’s nine and a half months, so I’m very happy.THE PRESIDENT: I get it. No, no, everybody knows I like kids better than people.MR. COOPER: I saw a picture of you with your grandson recently.THE PRESIDENT: That’s right.MR. COOPER: Yeah. So we got a lot of questions in the audience. We have about 50 or so people here. They’re all socially distanced. We have some folks who voted for you, some folks who did not. And we’re going to get as many questions in as possible.Before we get to that, I just want to start with a couple of just big-picture questions about the pandemic and where we are right now.THE PRESIDENT: Sure.MR. COOPER: New cases of COVID-19 hospitalizations have fallen by half in the last month, so have new cases. That’s the good news. There’s this potential threat — potential surge from the variants coming down the pike potentially. When is every American who wants it going to be able to get a vaccine?THE PRESIDENT: By the end of July of this year. We have — we came into office, there was only 50 million doses that were available. We have now — by the end of July, we’ll have over 600 million doses — enough to vaccinate every single American.MR. COOPER: When you say — (applause) — when you say “by the end of July,” do you mean that they will be available or that people will have been able to actually get them? Because Dr. Fauci —THE PRESIDENT: They’ll be available.MR. COOPER: They’ll be available.THE PRESIDENT: They’ll be available.MR. COOPER: Okay.THE PRESIDENT: Here, look, we — what we did — we got into office and found out the supply — there was no backlog. I mean, there was nothing in the refrigerator, figuratively and literally speaking, and there were 10 million doses a day that were available.We’ve upped that, in the first three weeks that we were in office, to significantly more than that. We’ve moved out — went to the Pfizer and Moderna, and said, “Can you produce more vaccine and more rapidly?” They not only agreed to go from 200 to 400 — and they’ve agreed to go to 600 million doses. And that’s — and they’re — and we got them to move up the time because we used the National Defense Act to be able to help the manufacturing piece of it to get more equipment and so on.MR. COOPER: So if, end of April — excuse me, end of July, they’re available to actually get them in the arms of people who want them, that will take — what? — a couple more months?THE PRESIDENT: Well, no, a lot will be being vaccinated in the meantime.MR. COOPER: Okay.THE PRESIDENT: In other words, it’s not all of a sudden 600 million doses are going to appear. And what’s going to happen is: It’s going to continue to increase as we move along, and we’ll have — we’ll have reached 400 million by the end of May and 600 million by the middle of — by the end of July.And the biggest thing, though, as you remember when you and I — no, I shouldn’t say it that way, “as you remember” — but when you and I talked last, we talked about — it’s one thing to have the vaccine, which we didn’t have when we came into office, but a vaccinator — how do you get the vaccine into someone’s arm? So you need the paraphernalia. You need the needle, and you need mechanisms to be able to get it in. You have to have people who can inject it into people’s arms.MR. COOPER: That’s been one of the problems is just getting enough people.THE PRESIDENT: Yes, now we have — we have made significant strides increasing the number of vaccinators. I’ve — I issued an executive order allowing former retired docs and nurses to do it. We have over 1,000 military personnel. The CDC is — I mean, excuse me, the — we have gotten the National Guard engaged.So we have significant number of vaccinators — people who would actually be there. Plus, we’ve opened up a considerable number of locations where you can get the vaccination.MR. COOPER: I want to introduce you to Kevin Michel. He’s an independent from Wauwatosa. He’s a mechanical engineer for a vehicle company.Kevin, welcome. What’s your question?AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi, welcome to Milwaukee.THE PRESIDENT: How you doing?AUDIENCE MEMBER: Good. My question is regarding education.THE PRESIDENT: Yes.AUDIENCE MEMBER: And considering that hybrid and virtual school instruction have been in place for nearly a year now, what is the plan and recommendation to get students back into the brick-and-mortar buildings? As a parent of four children, I find it imperative that they get back to school as safely as possible.THE PRESIDENT: My mother would say, “God bless you, son.” No purgatory for you — four kids home. I really mean it. And, by the way, the loss of being able to be in school is having significant impact on the children and parents as well.And so, what we found out is, there are certain things that make it rational and easy to go back to the brick-and-mortar building. One, first of all, making sure everybody is wearing protective gear — it’s available to students, as well as to teachers, the janitors, the people who work in the cafeteria, the bus drivers.Secondly, organizing in smaller pods, which means that’s why we need more teachers. Instead of a classroom of 30 kids in it, you have three classes and that same — of 10 kids each in those. And I’m — I’m not making the number up; it might be less. It doesn’t have to be literally 10.In addition to that, we also have indicated that it is much better, it’s much easier to send kids K-through-8 back because they are less likely to communicate the disease to somebody else. But because kids in — sophomores, juniors, and seniors in high school — they socialize a lot more, and they’re older, and they transmit more than young kids do, it’s harder to get those schools open without having everything from the ventilation systems and — and having —For example, school bus drivers — you know, we — we got to make sure that you don’t have 60 kids, or however many there — depending on the size of school bus — sitting two abreast in every single seat.And so there’s a lot of things we can do, short of — and I think that we should be vaccinating teachers. We should move them up in the hierarchy as well. (Applause.)MR. COOPER: Well, let me ask you, you — your administration had set a goal to open the majority of schools in your first 100 days. You’re now saying that means those schools may only be open for at least one day a week.THE PRESIDENT: No, that’s not true. That’s what was reported; that’s not true. There was a mistake in the communication. But what I — what I’m talking about is I said opening the majority of schools in K-through-eighth grade because they’re the easiest to open, the most needed to be opened, in terms of the impact on children and families having to stay home.MR. COOPER: So when do you think that would be — K-through-8, at least five days a week if possible?THE PRESIDENT: I think we’ll be close to that at the end of the first 100 days. We’ve had a significant percentage of them being able to be opened. My — my guess is they’re going to probably be pushing to open all for — all summer — to continue like it’s a different semester (inaudible).MR. COOPER: Do you think that would be five days a week or just a couple?THE PRESIDENT: I think — I think many of them are five days a week. The goal will be five days a week. Now, it’s going to be harder to open up the high schools for the reasons I said — just like, if you notice, the contagion factor in colleges is much higher than it is in high schools or grade schools.MR. COOPER: I want you to meet — this is Justin Belot. He’s a high school teacher from Milwaukee who’s a Democrat. Justin, thanks for being with us. What’s your question?THE PRESIDENT: What do you teach?AUDIENCE MEMBER: I teach English. High school English.THE PRESIDENT: My wife teaches. God love you.AUDIENCE MEMBER: Wonderful. Thank you, Mr. President. So along the same lines of schools, so this great debate on when to transition to in-person learning: While there are numerous warnings not to be in large groups or to have dinner parties or small parties, why is it okay to put students and teachers in close proximity to each other for an entire day, day after day? With large class sizes and outdated ventilation systems, how and when do you propose this to occur? And finally, do you believe all staff should be vaccinated before doing so?THE PRESIDENT: Number one, nobody is suggesting, including the CDC in this recent out report, that you have large classes, congested classes. It’s smaller classes; more ventilation; making sure that everybody has masks and is socially distanced, meaning you have less — fewer students in one room; making sure that everyone from the sanitation workers who work in the — in the lavatories, in the bathrooms, and do the — and do the — all the maintenance, that they are in fact able to be protected as well. Making sure you’re in a situation where you don’t have the congregation of a lot of people — as I said, including the school bus, including getting on a school bus.So it’s about needing to be able to socially distance, smaller classes, more protection. And I think the teachers and the folks who work in the school — the cafeteria workers and others — should be on the list of preferred to get a vaccination.MR. COOPER: I want to introduce you to Kerri Engebrecht, an independent from Oak Creek.Kerri, welcome. Go ahead.AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you.THE PRESIDENT: Kerri, how are you?AUDIENCE MEMBER: Very good, thank you. Our 19-year-old son was diagnosed with pediatric COPD at the age of 14. We’re told he has the lungs of a 60-year-old. He does all he can to protect himself. Last month, he even removed himself from the campus of UW-Madison, as he feels it’s safer and he has less exposure here at home.We’ve tried all we can to get him a vaccine. I hear of others who are less vulnerable getting it based on far less. Do you have a plan to vaccinate those who are most vulnerable sooner, to give them a priority?THE PRESIDENT: Well, the answer is: Yes, there are.But here’s how it works: The states make the decision on who is — or in what order. I can make recommendations, and for federal programs, I can do that as President of the United States. But I can’t tell the state, “You must move such and such a group of people up.”But here’s what I’d like to do: If you’re willing, I’ll stay around after this is over, and maybe we can talk a few minutes and see if I can get you some help. (Applause.)MR. COOPER: Let — let me just ask you, though: Johnson & Johnson could be authorized — a new vaccine from them could be authorized in a couple of weeks. That would be a big deal —THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it would.MR. COOPER: — bringing a lot more vaccines on, millions of more doses to the supply. Once that happens, given the urgency of these variants, and the potential threat from them, should states stop giving priority to certain groups and just open vaccine access for everyone?THE PRESIDENT: Well, it depends on how much they have available. I think there still should be priority groups in case there are not enough for everyone, every- — available to everybody.And, look, we don’t know for certain. Let me tell you what my national COVID team has said: that the variants, the — by “variants,” you mean the Brazilian strain, the South African strain, the British strain —MR. COOPER: London. Yeah.THE PRESIDENT: — and London, et cetera. There’s thus far — thus far, there is no evidence that the existing vaccinations available for Moderna and Pfizer do not either make sure that they apply — they work as well against the strain in the United States. And there is no evidence that they’re not helpful.So if you can get a vaccination, get it whenever you can get it, regardless of the other strains that are out there. There are studies going on to determine it is not only more communicable, but are there vaccine — do the vaccines not provide helpful protection by getting the vaccine. There are some speculation. I shouldn’t — I got to be very careful — right? — because millions of people are watching this. It may be that a certain vaccination for a certain strain may reduce from 95 percent to a lower percentage of certainty that it will keep you from getting —MR. COOPER: It may not be as effective as —THE PRESIDENT: It may not be as effective.MR. COOPER: — against a variant, but it still would be effective.THE PRESIDENT: It’d still be effective. So the clear notion is: If you’re eligible, if it’s available, get the vaccine. Get the vaccine.MR. COOPER: I want you to meet — this is Dessie Levy, a Democrat from Milwaukee. She’s a registered nurse, former academic dean. She’s also currently director of a faith-based nonprofit.Dessie, welcome.THE PRESIDENT: By the way — you’ve heard me say this before, Becky [sic] — if there’s any angels in heaven, they’re all nurses, male and female. Doctors let you live, nurses make you want to live. I can tell you as a consumer of healthcare — my family. You’re wonderful. Thank you for what you do.AUDIENCE MEMBER: God bless you. Mr. President, hello. My name is Dr. Dessie Levy. And my question to you is: Considering COVID-19 and its significant impact on black Americans, especially here in Milwaukee, and thus the exacerbation of our racial disparities in healthcare, we have seen less than 3 percent of blacks and less than 5 percent of Hispanics, given the total number of vaccines that have been administered to this point. Is this a priority for the Biden administration? And how will the disparities be addressed? And that’s both locally and nationally.THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, it is a priority, number one.Number two, there’s two reasons for it being the way it is. Number one, there is some history of blacks being used as guinea pigs and other experiments — I need not tell you, Doctor — over the last 50 to 75 to 100 years in America. So there’s a — there is a concern about getting the vaccine, whether it’s available or not.But the biggest part of it is access — physical access. That’s why, last week, I opened up — I met with the Black Caucus in the United States Congress and agreed that I would — all — all of the fed- — all of the community health centers now, which take care of the toughest of the toughest neighborhoods in terms of illness, they are going to get a million doses, you know, a week, in how we’re going to move forward, because they’re in the neighborhood.Secondly, we have opened up — and I’m making sure that there’s doses of vaccine for over 6,700 pharmacies, because almost everyone lives within not always walking distance, but within the distance of being able to go to the pharmacy, like when you got your flu shot. That is also now being opened.Thirdly, I also am providing for mobile — mobile vans, mobile units to go into neighborhoods that are hard to get to because people are on — for example, even though everyone is within, you know, basically five miles of a Walgreens, let’s say, the fact is, if you’re 70 years old, you don’t have a vehicle, and you live in a tough neighborhood — meaning you’re — it’s a high concentration of COVID — you’re not likely to be able to walk five miles to go get a vaccine.The other thing we found is — and I’m sorry to go on, but this is really important to me. The other part — portion is, a lot of people don’t know how to register. Not everybody in the community — in the Hispanic and the African American community, particularly in rural areas that are distant and/or inner-city districts — know how to use — know how to get online to determine how to get in line for that COVID vaccination at the Walgreens or at the particular store.So we’re also — I’ve committed to spend a billion dollars on public education to help people figure out how they can get in there. That’s why we’re also trying to set up mass vaccination centers, like places in stadiums and the like.MR. COOPER: Are you concerned about the rollout of this online? Because it has been incredibly confusing for a lot of people, not just —THE PRESIDENT: Sure.MR. COOPER: — you know, older people. It’s younger people just trying to find a place to get a vaccine.THE PRESIDENT: Yes. And I have. Because look — look what we inherited: We inherited a circumstance here, where — and now for the first — we did a lot in the first two weeks — a circumstance where, number one, there weren’t many vaccinators. You didn’t know where you could go get a vaccine administered to you because there was no one to put it in your arm — number one.Number two, there was very little federal guidance; it’s to say, what to look for, how to find out where, in fact, you could go. You can go online, and every single state now has a slightly different mechanism by which they say who’s qualified, where you can get the vaccines, and so on.So it’s all about trying to more rationalize in detail so ordinary people, like me, can understand. I mean that sincerely. I mean, I’m not — my — you know, my grandchildren can use that online — you know, make me look like I’m in, you know, the seventh century.But all kidding aside, so this is a process, and it’s going to take time. It took us a — think of what we didn’t do. And you and I talked about this during the campaign. We didn’t do from the time it hit the — it hit the United States. “You’re going to inject something in your arm, it’s going to go away.” “You’re going to be in a — it’ll all be done by Easter.”We wasted so much time. So much time.MR. COOPER: Another question about vaccines. This is Jessica Salas. She’s an independent from the Milwaukee, a graphic designer.Jessica, welcome.AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi, thank you. As we’ve been talking about, the coronavirus is very real and very scary. And it’s especially scary for children who may or may not understand. My children, Layla — eight, here — and my son Matteo — seven, at home — often ask if they will catch COVID, and if they do, will they die. They are watching as others get the vaccine, and they would like to know when will kids be able to get the vaccine.THE PRESIDENT: Well first of all, honey — what’s your first name?LAYLA SALAS: Layla.THE PRESIDENT: Layla. Beautiful name. First of all, kids don’t get the vacci- — get COVID very often. It’s unusual for that to happen. They don’t — they — and there — the evidence so far is, children aren’t the people most likely to get COVID — number one.Number two, we haven’t even done tests yet on children as to whether or not the certain vaccines would work or not work, or what is needed. So that’s — so you — you’re the safest group of people in the whole world — number one.Number two, you’re not likely to be able to be exposed to something and spread it to mommy or daddy. And it’s not likely mommy and daddy are able to spread it to you either. So I wouldn’t worry about it, baby. I promise you. But I know it’s, kind of, worrisome. Are you in first grade, second grade?LAYLA SALAS: Second.THE PRESIDENT: Oh, you’re getting old. (Laughter.) Second grade. Well, has your school — have you been in school, honey?LAYLA SALAS: No.THE PRESIDENT: No. See, that’s — that’s, kind of, a scary thing too: You don’t get to go to school; you don’t get to see your friends.And so what a lot of kids — and I mean — and big people too, older people — they just — their whole lives have, sort of, changed, like when it used to be. It used to be, let’s go outside and play with your friends and get in the school bus and go to school, and everything was normal. And now, when things change, people get really worried and scared. But don’t be scared, honey. Don’t be scared. You’re going to be fine. And we’re going to make sure mommy is fine too.MR. COOPER: You know, let me ask you — (applause) — let me ask you, just for folks who are watching out there — there are a lot of people who are scared, and there’s a lot of people —THE PRESIDENT: Sure.MR. COOPER: — who are hurting. When do you think this pandemic is — I mean, when are we — when is it going to be done? When are we going to get back to normal?THE PRESIDENT: Well, you know, all the experts, all the committee that I put together of the leading researchers in the world and in the United States who are on this committee of mine, headed by Dr. Fauci and others, they tell me: Be careful not to predict things that you don’t know for certain what’s going to happen because then you’ll be held accountable. I get that.But let me tell you what I think based on all that I’ve learned and all that I’ve studied and all that I think that I know. It’s fairly — it’s a high probability that the vaccinations that are available today — and the new one, Johnson & Johnson, God willing — will prove to be useful; that with those vaccinations, the ability to continue to spread the disease is going to diminish considerably because of what they call “herd immunity.” And now they’re saying somewhere around 70 percent of the people have to constitute; some people said 50, 60. But a significant number have to be in a position where they are — they have been vaccinated and/or they’ve been through it and —MR. COOPER: Have antibodies.THE PRESIDENT: And have antibodies.And so, if that works that way — as my mother would say, with the grace of God and the goodwill of the neighbors — that by next Christmas, I think we’ll be in a very different circumstance, God willing, than we are today. I think a year from now, when it’s 22 below zero here — (laughter) — no, a year from now, I think that there’ll be significantly fewer people having to be socially distanced, have to wear masks, et cetera. But we don’t know.So I don’t want to over-promise anything here. I told you when I ran and when I got elected: I will always level with you. To use Franklin Roosevelt’s example, I’ll shoot to give it “straight from the shoulder” — straight from the shoulder what I know and what I don’t know.We don’t know for certain, but it is highly unlikely that by the beginning of next year’s school — traditional school year in September, we are not significantly better off than we are today, but it matters. It matters whether you continue to wear that mask. It matters whether you continue to socially distance. It matters whether you wash your hands with hot water. It — those things matter. They matter. And that can save a lot of lives while we’re getting to this point, we get to herd immunity.MR. COOPER: You’ve made — (applause) — you’ve made passing a COVID relief bill the focus of your first 100 days. Those on the right say the proposal is too big; some on the left say it’s not big enough. Are you committed to passing a $1.9 trillion bill, or is that final number still up for negotiation?THE PRESIDENT: I’m committed to pass- — look, here’s — some of you are probably economists or college professors or you’re teaching in school. This is the first time in my career — and as you can tell, I’m over 30 — the first time in my career that there is a consensus among economists left, right, and center that is over- — and including the IMF and in Europe — that the overwhelming consensus is: In order to grow the economy a year or two, three, and four down the line, we can’t spend too much. Now is the time we should be spending. Now is the time to go big.You may recall I managed the last experiment we had with stimulus, and it was 800 — (applause) — no, I don’t mean it that way, but it was $800 billion. We thought we needed more than that. And we think we did. We got — we were — it ended up working, but it slowed things up by about — and it, depending who you talked to — between six months and a year and a half.We can come back — we can come roaring back. It’s estimated that if we — by most economists, including Wall Street firms, as well as — as — as, you know, think tanks — political think tanks — left, right, and center — it is estimated that if we pass this bill alone, we’ll create 7 million jobs this year. Seven million jobs this year. (Applause.)And so the thing we haven’t talked about — and I’m not going to go on because I want to hear your question, and I apologize — we haven’t talked about — I remember you and I talking during the campaign, and you had the former guy saying that, “Well, you know, we’re just going to open things up, and that’s all we need to do.” We said, “No, you got to deal with the disease before you deal with the — with getting the economy going.”Well, the fact is that the economy now has to be dealt with. And what is — look at all the people. You have over 10 million people unemployed. We need unemployment insurance. We need to make sure that, you know, you have — 40 percent of the children in America are — talk about food shortage — 60 percent of — did you ever think you’d see a day, Milwaukee — you’d see in the last six months, people lining up in their automobiles for an hour, for as far as you can see, to get a bag of food? What — I mean, this is the United States of America, for God’s sake. We can’t deal with that?We promised — look at all the people who are on the verge of being kicked out of their apartments because they cannot afford — they cannot afford the rent. What happens when that happens? Everything (inaudible). Look at all the mom-and-pop landlords that are in real trouble if we don’t subsidize this in the meantime. Look at all the people who are on the verge of missing — and how many people have missed their last two mortgage payments and are able to be foreclosed on. That’s why I took executive action to say they cannot be foreclosed on in the meantime. Because look at what the impact on the economy would be. You think it’s bad now, let all that happen.Look at all the people who’ve lost their insurance. How many — I’m not asking for a show of hands. How many of you had jobs with corporations or companies that provided healthcare? The COBRA healthcare. Well, guess what? The company goes under, and guess what? You lose your health insurance. Well, we should be making sure you’re able to pay for that so that we keep people moving.So there’s a lot — so I think bigger. And the vast majority of serious people say bigger is better now, not spending less.MR. COOPER: This is — this is Randy Lange, an independent who supported Donald Trump in 2020. Randy is the co-owner of a woodworking company here in Milwaukee.Randy, welcome.AUDIENCE MEMBER: Good evening. You’re proposing a $15 minimum wage. Given the lower cost of living, specifically in the Midwest, many business owners are concerned that this will put them out of business, forcing them to downsize or cut benefits. How can you instill confidence in small businesses that this will benefit the Midwest business growth?THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, the South is not much different than the Midwest in that regard as well. But here’s the thing: If you look back over the last 40 years, as minimum wages increased, people haven’t — the end — the end result of net employment hasn’t changed. The vast majority of economists — and there are studies that show that by increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, it could have an impact on — on a number of businesses, but it would be de minimis, et cetera.Here’s the deal: It’s about doing it gradually. We’re at $7.25 an hour. No one should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty. No one should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty. (Applause.) But it’s totally legitimate for small-business owners to be concerned about how that changes. For example, if it went — if we gradually increased it — when we indexed it at $7.20, if we kept it indexed by — to inflation, people would be making 20 bucks an hour right now. That’s what it would be.MR. COOPER: The Congressional Budget Office says that a $15 minimum wage would lift 900,000 people out of poverty but would also cause 1.4 million people their jobs. Is that —THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but there’s also — if you read that whole thing about Pinocchios and all the rest — there are also an equal number of studies that say that’s not — that wouldn’t have that effect, and particularly as you do it in terms of how gradually you do it. So let’s say — you said you’re going to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour, between now and the year 2025, to $12 an hour, to $13 — you double someone’s pay — and the impact on business would be absolutely diminished, and it would grow the GDP, and it would grow and it would generate economic growth.But it’s not illegitimate as a small-business person to worry about whether or not increasing it at one fell swoop would have that impact. I do support a $15 minimum wage. I think there is equally as much, if not more, evidence to dictate that it would grow the economy and, long run and medium run, benefit small businesses as well as large businesses, and it would not have such a dilatory effect. But that’s a debatable issue.MR. COOPER: I want you to meet another small-business owner. This is Tim Eichinger, a Democrat from Milwaukee, co- owner of Black Husky Brewing.Tim, welcome.AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you. My partner and I own a small brewery in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee, and we have nine amazing employees. We rely primarily on selling our beer out of our tap room. And with the pandemic, our business has gone down about 50 percent. Now, we’ve relied primarily on loans, grants, as well as our own reserves to survive. However, the new assistance has been too slow, and recently it’s gotten more restrictive on how we can apply it. What will you do so that small mom-and-pop businesses like ours will survive over large corporate entities? THE PRESIDENT: Change it drastically, first of all, by making sure we have inspectors general. You may remember when the first bill passed, you may remember there was a guy running, saying, “What’s going to happen is the banks aren’t going to lend you the money. They’re going to ask you a question, ‘Do you have your credit with us? How many loans do you have with us? What is your — what credit cards do you have with us? How…” Because even though they were being underwritten, and we bailed their rear ends out — last time out, they weren’t — it was too much trouble to lend to you.What did the President do? And I don’t want to pick on the Pres- — I shouldn’t — I don’t — I’m tired of talking about Donald Trump. I don’t want to talk about him anymore. But the last administration spent time — a lot of time talking about how there was no need for inspector generals. We find out that 40 percent of the money — the PPE loans to go to — PP — PPP loans that go to small businesses went to — went to corporations that were multimillion-dollar corporations. And you’re going to see an investigation showing that a lot of this was fraudulent where it went.So what I’m doing is I’m providing $60 billion for you to be able to make capital investments in order to be able to open safely and make sure you’re in a position that you can do the things that are recommended. If you’ve noticed, there’s been very little federal direction for you all as to how to safely open your businesses. Yet, you know, if you’re able to test your employees, if you’re able to be in a situation if you — if you serve people, you have Plexiglas dividers; if you — a whole range. If you’re able to have everybody with a — with a mask and the like, you can do so much to safely open, but you don’t get that direction.So, the money, I guarantee you, is going to go to small businesses with people. And I’m shooting — and, by the way, the original definition of a small businesses is 500 or fewer employees. Well, that’s not what I mean by small businesses. What we meant by small business is the mom-and-pop businesses that hold communities together and keep people together, and particularly in neighborhoods where if you don’t have a beauty shop, a barber shop, a hardware store, a grocery store, et cetera, the center of the community begins to disintegrate some.So what I’d like to do is, if you are willing to give me an address, lay out for you precisely — without taking more time, I’m going to get in trouble; I’m supposed only took two minutes in an answer — is to let you know exactly how that $60 billion in part of the recovery package will go to small businesses. (Applause.)MR. COOPER: Right. We’re going to take a quick break. When we get back, we’ll have more questions for the President of the United States, Joe Biden. We’ll be right back.(Commercial break begins.)(Commercial break concludes.)MR. COOPER: And welcome back. We’re live at a CNN Town Hall Event at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with President Joe Biden. We are back.Thanks so much for — for being here. We — before we get back into — to the audience, I want to ask just a question about what we just witnessed.Before the Senate voted to acquit the former President in the impeachment trial, you said you were anxious to see if Republican senators would stand up. Only seven did. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the rest “cowards.” Do you agree with her?THE PRESIDENT: I’m not going to call names out. I — look, I — for four years, all that’s been in the news is Trump. The next four years, I want to make sure all in the news is the American people. I’m tired of talking about Trump. (Applause.) It’s done.MR. COOPER: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the former President is, quote, “still liable for everything he did while he was in office.” If your Department of Justice wanted to investigate him, would you allow them to proceed?THE PRESIDENT: I made it clear: One of the things about — one of the most serious pieces of damage done by the last administration was the politic- — the politicizing of the Justice Department. Any of you who are lawyers know — whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, conservative, or liberal — it has been more politicized than any Justice Department in American history. I made a commitment: I will not ever tell my Justice Department — and it’s not mine; it’s the people’s Justice Department — who they should and should not prosecute. Their prosecutorial decisions will be left to the Justice Department, not me. (Applause.)MR. COOPER: I want you to meet Joel Berkowitz from Shorewood. He is a Democrat, a professor of Foreign Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.Joel, thanks for being here.AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you, Anderson.THE PRESIDENT: I’m not bad at the literature part, but after five years of French, I still can’t speak a word. So I apologize. (Laughter.)AUDIENCE MEMBER: I’ll teach you some Yiddish sometime. How’s that?THE PRESIDENT: I — hey, by the way, I understand a little bit of Yiddish. (Laughter.)AUDIENCE MEMBER: I’m sure you do.MR. COOPER: It would be a shonda if you didn’t. But — (Laughter.)AUDIENCE MEMBER: More seriously, Mr. President, like millions of my fellow citizens, I was shaken by the attack on the Capitol on January 6th, and on our democracy more broadly, by your predecessor and his followers. While I appreciate efforts being made to bring them to justice, I worry about ongoing threats to our country from Americans who embrace white supremacy and conspiracies that align with it. What can your administration do to address this complex and wide-ranging problem?THE PRESIDENT: It is complex, it’s wide ranging, and it’s real. You may — I got involved in politics to begin with because of civil rights and opposition to white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan. And the most dangerous people in America continue to exist. That is the greatest threat to terror in America: domestic terror.And so I would make sure that my Justice Department and the Civil Rights Division is focused heavily on those very folks. And I would make sure that we, in fact, focus on how to deal with the rise of white supremacy. And you see what’s happening — and the studies that are beginning to be done, maybe at your university as well — about the impact of former military, former police officers, on the growth of white supremacy in some of these groups.You may remember in one of my debates with the former President, I asked him to condemn the Proud Boys. He wouldn’t do it. He said, “Stand by. Stand ready.” Or whatever the phrasing exactly was. It is a bane on our existence. It has always been. As Lincoln said, “We have to appeal to our better angels.” And these guys are not — and women — are, in fact, demented. They are dangerous people.MR. COOPER: I want you to meet James Lewis, an independent from Milwaukee. He’s a labor attorney.James, welcome.THE PRESIDENT: James, if I say anything you don’t like, let me know right away, will you?AUDIENCE MEMBER: All right. You’re all right.THE PRESIDENT: About as big as a mountain.AUDIENCE MEMBER: Good evening, President Biden. I was a public defender in Kenosha County when the police shot Jacob Blake. I witnessed the city I worked in burned and devastated. And recently, District Attorney Michael Graveley denied to prosecute the police officers responsible.So my question to you is: What will your administration do to correct these wrongs that we witnessed not just in Kenosha, but across this country? And what will we do to bridge the gap between communities and their police?THE PRESIDENT: Three things. First of all, I was a public defender as well, and I think it’s high time that we had public defenders being paid the same as prosecutors. My son, by the way, was a great prosecutor; he was the attorney general of the state of Delaware, and he was a federal prosecutor before that. And so I’m not condemning all prosecutors, but I am saying that it matters that you have adequate defense and you are able to attract people who, in fact, can live on being able to be that public defender — number one.Number two — we are pushing very hard, and I think we’ll get it done — is the legislation relating to what is appropriate police behavior and studying police behavior, and coming down with recommendations that are consistent with the legislation that was put in place as a consequence of all the world seeing one man shoved up against the curb and murdered after 8 minutes and 46 seconds.And so there’s a number of things relating to everything from no-knock warrants and — and a whole range of things you know. But there’s legislation that’s being introduced separately. I hope it will pass.But thirdly, I think we have to deal with systemic racism that exists throughout society. And one of the things I’m going to recommend there is that we look at an entire panoply of things that affect whether or not people of color, primarily, are — are treated differently. And that goes through everything from prosecutorial discretion — you know, as a public defender what, by that, I mean. What happens is — it’ll take too long to go through the whole explanation, but let me do it — try to go quickly.What happens now is, if you in fact are going to — you arrest someone because they had — and you want to charge them, you can charge them with robbery or armed robbery. If you charge them with armed robbery, you get a lot more time than if you don’t charge with robbery. But if you want to make sure that someone who doesn’t know much about their representation is able to (inaudible), you engage in prosecutorial misconduct by offering them to plead to, essentially — it’s not the same — burglary, which gets them two years in probation and — so you don’t even get a trial. You plead because you don’t have adequate representation. You feel like everything is against you, and you’re in trouble. When I did the sentencing act, that was designed to keep — make sure we had the same time for the same crime.As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I looked at all 10 federal districts — and we took six months to do it — and found out if you’re black, and you — or your first-time offense of being accused of burglary — and maybe you committed it and you were white and you did the same exact crime — in all 10 districts throughout the United States of America, a person — and don’t hold me to the exact numbers, but the percentages are right — if you’re a first-time white guy, you’d get two years; you’d get seven years if you were black.So in order to make sure that you could not send people to jail for the same crime, I came up with this pr- — this Sentencing Commission, which said that you — everybody who commits the crime has to receive between — instead of zero to 20 years, you drastically cut down the number of years you could go to jail. But say you have to — if you — if it’s a one — first-time offense, you have to get sentenced between one and a half and three years. Okay?Well, what happens is prosecutors use that as a mechanism to send people to jail. It makes it look like they’re — we’re dealing with mandatory sentencing, which it wasn’t designed to do at all. It was designed to make sure that people were treated fairly.There’s much — I’m sorry to go on. There’s much more to talk about, but —MR. COOPER: Yeah. We actually have a related question over here. This is Dannie Evans, a pastor in Janesville, who works as a supervisor for the juvenile justice diversion program in Rock County. He’s an independent, voted for Donald Trump in 2020. He’s also a member the state’s 32-member Racial Disparity Task Force, created in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting last summer.Dannie, welcome.AUDIENCE MEMBER: Good afternoon, Mr. President. “Defund the Police” is discussed as an option for reforming policing; however, there are communities where people live in fear not of the police, but in fear of the violent gangs who commit crimes —THE PRESIDENT: Exactly.AUDIENCE MEMBER: — in those neighborhoods. How can we be sure that we don’t over-legislate police officers so that they can’t do their job to protect the law-abiding citizens who live in these high-crime neighborhoods, and yet train officers to police with compassion?THE PRESIDENT: By, number one, not defunding the police. We have to put more money in police work so we have legitimate community policing and we’re in a situation where we change the legislation. No one should go to jail for a drug offense. No one should go to jail for the use of a drug. They should go to drug rehabilitation. (Applause.) Drug rehabilitation. Number one.We should be in a position where we change the system — of sentencing system — to one that relates to a notion of — they start telling you to — as related to making sure that what you do is you focus on making sure that there’s rehabilitation.The idea that we don’t have people in prison systems learning how to be — spending the money — learning how to be mechanics, learning how to be cooks, learning how to have a profession when you get out; the idea that we deny someone, who served their time, access to Pell Grants, access to housing, access to — right now, as you well know, most places you get out of prison, you get 25 bucks and a bus ticket. You end up back under the bridge exactly where you were before.And the fact is that — the concern in many minority communities is black-on-black, Hispanic-on-Hispanic, not just —But here’s the deal: There has to be much more serious –how can I say it? — much more serious determination as to what the background and the attitudes of the recruit is, where — what their views are. There should be much more psychological testing, like you would if you’re going to the intelligence community. What is it? What are the things that make you respond the way you do? Because there is — there is inherent prejudice built into the system as well.And we also need to provide for — and it’s happening — more African American and more Hispanic police officers. And, by the way, they don’t get it all right either, by a long shot. But every cop, when they get up in the morning and put on that shield, has a right to expect to be able to go home to their family that night. Conversely, every kid walking across the street wearing a hoodie is not a member of a gang and is about to knock somebody off. (Applause.)So it’s about education. I’d love to talk to you more about it because it’s — it is the answer, in my view — that and education — actually, access to education.And one of the things that I talk a lot about — and I’m sorry to go on about this, but it’s important: I don’t think we can look at opportunity in the Af- — let’s stick with African American community for a minute — in terms of the criminal justice system. That is only one small piece of why people are the way they are. You realize — I don’t know what home you live in, but if you go ahead and you want to get insurance, and you’re in a black neighborhood, you’re going to pay more for the same insurance that I’m going to pay for the exact same home. Your car — you never had an accident in your car. If you live in a black neighborhood, you’re going to pay a higher premium on your car. You’re going to —So, there’s so many things that are built in institutionally that disadvantage African Americans and Latinos that we — in fact, I think — and one of the great advantages — I’m sorry, but one of the great advantages — as bad as things are — I keep reading from presidential historians how I’ve inherited the worst situation since Lincoln, worse than Roosevelt, because — economic crisis, political crisis, racial crisis, et cetera.But the fact is that everyone has gotten a close-up look now and seen what’s happened. That kid — that kid holding that camera for 8 minutes and 46 seconds awakened the whole world. When I met with his little daughter, after he was dead, she said, “My Daddy has changed the world.” Guess what? Not only here in the United States. Around the world, people said, “Whoa, I didn’t know that happened.”Dr. King — when my generation — when I got involved in the Civil Rights Movement as a high school student in the early ’60s — and you had Bull Connor and his dogs in the late ’50s sicking on those ladies going to — in their black dresses going to church — and little kids and fire hoses ripping their skin off. He said, “What happened there was — it was a second emancipation.” Because people in places where there weren’t black communities said, “That really happens? I didn’t believe it.” They saw it happen. And so it generated the — the Voting Rights Act. It generated the Civil Rights Act. And he called it the “Second Emancipation.” We have a chance now — a chance now to make significant change in racial disparities.And I’m going to say something that’s going to get me in trouble, which — I couldn’t go through the whole show without doing that. And that is that — think about it: If you want to know where the American public is, look at the money being spent in advertising. Did you ever, five years ago, think every second or third ad out of five or six you’d turn on would be biracial couples? (Applause.)No, no, I’m not — I’m not being fac- — the reason I’m so hopeful is this new generation — they’re not like us. They’re thinking differently. They’re more open. And we got to take advantage of it. (Applause.)MR. COOPER: I want you to — (applause) —THE PRESIDENT: I’m sorry.MR. COOPER: I want you to meet LuVerda Martin, a Democrat from Mequon or Mequan [sic].AUDIENCE MEMBER: Mequon.MR. COOPER: Mequon, sorry. LuVerda is a certified nurse, midwife.Welcome.AUDIENCE MEMBER: Good evening, Mr. President.THE PRESIDENT: Good evening.AUDIENCE MEMBER: Our nation’s experiences with and through COVID-19 and other recent tragedies have strengthened the foundation of division among Americans. What are your immediate and tangible plans to address how deeply divided we are as a nation?THE PRESIDENT: I take issue with what everybody says about the division. For example, my plan on COVID: 69 percent of the American people support it — 69. In this state — recent poll — 60 percent. Sixty percent. Forty-five percent of Trump voters and fifty-five percent of Republican voters. The nation is not divided. You go out there and take a look and talk to people. You have fringes on both ends, but it’s not nearly as divided as we make it out to be. And we have to bring it together.You may remember how — trouble I get in. I said there were three reasons I was running: One, to restore the soul of the country — decency, honor, integrity; talk about the things that matter to people, treat people with dignity. Secondly, I said, to rebuild the backbone of the country, the middle class, and this time bring everybody along and have a chance. And the third reason was unite the country. On my own primary, I got la- — “Unite the country? What are you talking about?”You cannot function in our system without consensus, other than abusing power at the executive level.So I really think there’s so many things that we agree on that we don’t focus enough on. And that’s, in large part, I think, because we don’t just condemn the things that are so obviously wrong — obviously wrong — that everybody agrees on. The way they were raised. The way we were raised. As my mother would say, if half the things that occurred in the last campaign came out of my mouth, as she’d say as a kid, we’d wash my mouth out with soap. (Laughter.)I mean, we have to be more decent and treat people with respect, and just decency.MR. COOPER: But let me —THE PRESIDENT: And —MR. COOPER: Let me ask about — a question which does often divide many people in this country: immigration.THE PRESIDENT: Yes.MR. COOPER: Your administration, along with congressional Democrats, expected to unveil an immigration reform bill just this week. You want a pathway to citizenship for the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants. Would you sign any immigration bill if it did not include that: a pathway for the roughly 11 million undocumented —THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, there’s a whole range of things that relate to immigration, including the whole idea how you deal with — you know, what confuses people, is you talk about refugees, you talk about undocumented, you talk about people who are seeking asylum, and you talk about people who are coming from the — that are coming from camps or being held around the world.And there are four different criteria for being able to come to the United States. The vast majority of the people, those 11 million undocumented, they’re not Hispanics; they’re people who came on a visa — who was able to buy a ticket to get in a plane, and didn’t go home. They didn’t come across the Rio Grande swimming — excuse me. (Laughter.) And — and — sorry, that’s the Irish in me. (Laughter.)But all kidding aside. So there are a lot of things that relate — but I think that we can no long- — look, you’ve he- — I’m — even if you’re not involved in politics at all, you’ve probably heard me say this a thousand times, and matter of — that everyone is entitled to be treated with decency, with dignity. Everyone is entitled to that.And we don’t do that enough. For the first time in American history, if you’re seeking asylum — meaning you’re being persecuted, you’re seeking asylum — you can’t do it from the United States. You used to come, have an asylum officer determine whether or not you met the criteria, and send you back if you in fact — but you can’t even do that. You’ve got to seek asylum from abroad.MR. COOPER: But just to be clear, though — and I know you’re going to be announcing stuff later this week, or that’s what I’ve heard — you do want a pathway to citizenship —THE PRESIDENT: Yes.MR. COOPER: — for ele- — roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants.THE PRESIDENT: Yes.MR. COOPER: And that would be essential in any bill for you?THE PRESIDENT: Well, yes. (Applause.) But, by the way, if you came along and said to me, “In the meantime, we can work out a system whereby we’re going to…” For example, we used to allow refugees — 125,000 refugees in the United States in a yearly basis. It was as high as 250,000. Trump cut it to 5,000.Come with me into Sierra Leone. Come with me into parts of Lebanon. Come with me around the world and see people piled up in camps, kids dying, no way out, refugees fleeing from persecution. We, the United States, used to do our part. We were part of that. We were — and, you know, that’s — you know, “send me your huddled masses.” Come on.And so I would, if you had a refugee bill by itself — I’m not suggesting that — but I would — there’s things that I would deal by itself, but not at the expense of saying, “I’m never going to do the other.” There is a reasonable path to citizenship.And it shows up — one of the reasons why we have been able to compete with the rest of the world so well is most of our major competitors are xenophobic. You remember quite — I remember you questioned me when I came back from China. And I said, “I predict, within less than a year, they’re going to end their One China policy.” And I got clobbered by — saying — because they said Biden didn’t talk about the fact that — how immoral it was. And it was when we were running against a Republican ticket, led by Mitt Romney — a fine guy.MR. COOPER: You just talked to China’s President, I believe.THE PRESIDENT: Yes, for two hours.MR. COOPER: What about the Uyghurs? What about the human rights abuses in China?THE PRESIDENT: We must speak up for human rights. It’s who we are. We can’t — my comment to him was — and I know him well, and he knows me well. We’re — a two-hour conversation.MR. COOPER: You talked about this to him?THE PRESIDENT: I talked about this, too. And that’s not so much refugee, but I talked about — I said — look, you know, Chinese leaders — if you know anything about Chinese history, it has always been — the time when China has been victimized by the outer world is when they haven’t been unified at home. So the central — to vastly overstate it — the central principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China. And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that.I point out to him: No American President can be sustained as a President if he doesn’t reflect the values of the United States. And so the idea I’m not going to speak out against what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uyghurs in western mountains of China and Taiwan, trying to end the One China policy by making it forceful — I said — and by the — he said he — he gets it. Culturally, there are different norms that each country and they — their leaders — are expected to follow.But my point was that when I came back from meeting with him and traveling 17,000 miles with him when I was vice president and he was the vice president — that’s how I got to know him so well, at the request of President Hu — not a joke — his predecessor, President Hu — and President Obama wanted us to get to know one another because he was going to be the president.And I came back and said they’re going to end their One China — their one child policy, because they’re so xenophobic, they won’t let anybody else in, and more people are retired than working. How can they sustain economic growth when more people are retired?MR. COOPER: When you talk to him, though, about human rights abuses, is that just — is that as far as it goes in terms of the U.S.? Or is there any actual repercussions for China?THE PRESIDENT: Well, there will be repercussions for China, and he knows that. What I’m doing is making clear that we, in fact, are going to continue to reassert our role as spokespersons for human rights at the U.N. and other — other agencies that have an impact on their attitude.China is trying very hard to become the world leader and to get that moniker. And to be able to do that, they have to gain the confidence of other countries. And as long as they’re engaged in activity that is contrary to basic human rights, it’s going to be hard for them to do that.But it’s much more complicated than that. I’m — I shouldn’t have tried to talk China policy in 10 minutes on television here.MR. COOPER: Well, let me — let me bring it back to the United States. I want you to meet Joycelyn Fish, a Democrat from Racine. Joycelyn is the director of marketing for a community theater.Joycelyn, welcome. Your question?AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hello. Good evening, Mr. President.THE PRESIDENT: Good evening.AUDIENCE MEMBER: Student loans are crushing my family, friends, and fellow Americans.THE PRESIDENT: Me too.AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Laughs.) The American Dream —THE PRESIDENT: You think I’m kidding.AUDIENCE MEMBER: — is to succeed. But how can we fulfill that dream when debt is many people’s only option for a degree? We need student loan forgiveness beyond the potential $10,000 your administration has proposed. We need at least a $50,000 minimum. What will you do to make that happen?THE PRESIDENT: I will not make that happen. It depends on whether or not you go to a private university or public university. It depends on the idea that I say to a community, “I’m going to forgive the debt…” — the billions of dollars in debt for people who have gone to Harvard and Yale and Penn and schools my children — I went to a great school. I went to a state school. But is that going to be forgiven, rather than use that money to provide for early education for young children who are — come from disadvantaged circumstances?But here’s what I think: I think everyone — and I’ve been proposing this for four years — everyone should be able to go to community college for free. For free. (Applause.) That’s — that costs $9 billion, and we should pay for it. And the tax policies we have now — we should be able to pay for you. We spend almost that money as a break for people who own race horses.And I think any family making under $125,000 whose kids go to a state university they get into, that should be free as well.And the thing I do in terms of student debt that’s accumulated is provide for changing the existing system now for debt forgiveness if you engage in volunteer activity. For example, if you were — if you’re teaching school, after five years, you — you would have $50,000 of your debt forgiven. If you worked in a battered women’s shelter, if you worked — and so on. So you’ll be able to forgive debt.Thirdly, I’m going to change the position that we have now to allow for debt forgiveness — because it’s so hard to calculate — whereby you can now, depending on how much you make and what program you sought, you can work off that debt by the activity you have, and you cannot be charged more than X percent of your take-home pay so that it doesn’t affect your ability to buy a car, own a home, et cetera.Each of my children graduated from school. I mortgaged the house. I was listed as the poorest man in Congress for — not a joke — for over 30 years. And — but I was able to bo- — I bought a home I spent a lot of time working on, and I was able to sell it for some profit.But my — my oldest son graduated, after undergraduate and graduate school, with $136,000 in debt after working 40 — I mean, excuse me, 30 hours a week during school. My other son, who went to Georgetown and Yale Law School, graduated $142,000 in debt, and he worked for a parking service in — down in Washington. My daughter went to Tulane University and then got a masters at Penn. She graduated $103,000 in debt.So I don’t think anybody should have to pay for that, but I do think you should be able to work it off. My daughter is a social worker. My other son became a — ran the World Food Program USA, and so on. They — they didn’t qualify.But my point is: I understand the impact of the debt, and it can be debilitating. And I think there is a whole question about what universities are doing. They don’t need more skyboxes. What they need is more money invested in — in making — so that’s why I provide, for example, $80 billion — $70 billion over 10 years for HBCUs and other minority-serving universities, because they don’t have the laboratories to be able to bring in those government contracts that can train people in cybersecurity or other future endeavors that pay well.But I do think that, in this moment of economic pain and strain, that we should be eliminating interest on the debts that are accumulated, number one. And number two, I’m prepared to write off a $10,000 debt, but not 50.MR. COOPER: Mr. President, let me ask you —THE PRESIDENT: Because I don’t think I have the authority to do it by signing the pen.MR. COOPER: You have, over the years — over your career, you’ve obviously spent a great deal of time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, except now you’re living there and you’re President. It’s been four weeks. What’s it like? How’s it different?THE PRESIDENT: I get up in the morning, look at Jill, and say, “Where the hell are we?” (Laughter.)No, it’s — look, it’s — you know, I’ve only been President four weeks. And sometimes — because things are moving so fast, not because of burden — it feels like four years. It’s not because of the burden; it’s because there’s so much happening that you focus on. You’re constantly focusing on one problem or opportunity, one right — ad seriatum.But what happens is that it’s — what I didn’t realize: I had been in the Oval Office a hundred times, as Vice President — or more than that, every morning, for the initial meetings — but I had never been up in the Residence. And one of the things that — I don’t know about you all, but I was raised in the way that you didn’t look for anybody to wait on you. And it’s — we’re — I find myself extremely self-conscious. There are wonderful people who work at the White House. But someone, you know, standing there and, you know, making sure — hands me my suitcoat or —MR. COOPER: You’d never been in the Residence of the White House?THE PRESIDENT: I’d only been upstairs in the — in the Yellow Room. You know, the — the Oval upstairs.MR. COOPER: I don’t know, I’ve never been there either. (Laughter.)THE PRESIDENT: No. And — but it’s — but, look, the people down there are wonderful. And I find that, you know — like, my dad — you’ve heard me say this before — my dad used to say, “Everybody…” — “Everybody is entitled to be treated with respect.” And it’s interesting how decent and incredible these folks are.MR. COOPER: Is it different than you expected it to be, in some ways?THE PRESIDENT: You know, I don’t know what I ever expected it to be. I — it is different in that — I’ll get in trouble in here. I said when I was running, I wanted to be President not to live in the White House but to be able to make the decisions about the future of the country. And so living in the White House, as you’ve heard other presidents who have been extremely flattered to live there, has — it’s a little like a gilded cage in terms of being able to walk outside and do things.The Vice President’s residence was totally different. You’re on 80 acres, overlooking the rest of the city. And you can walk out, and there’s a swimming pool. You can walk off a porch in the summer and jump in a pool, and — and, you know, go into work. You can ride a bicycle around and never leave the property and work out. And you can — but the White House is very different.And I feel a sense of — I must tell you, a sense of history about it. Jon Meacham, who you know, and several other presidential historians, helped me with my — I asked my brother, who’s good at this, to set up the Oval Office for me, because it all happens within two hours, you know? Literally. They move everything out and move something.And it was interesting to hear these historians talk about what — what other presidents have gone through in the moments, and who were the people who stepped up to the ball, and who’s the people who didn’t. And what you realize is the most consequential thing for me is — although I’ve known this watching seven presidents who I got to know fairly well — is I always, in the past, looked at the presidency in the terms of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt and George Washington and how can — (inaudible). They’re super human.But I had to remind myself, they’re really fine men that I knew well — the last seven presidents — and at least there are people who I knew well enough to know that I play on the same team with.So it took away the sense of, “This is — my God, you know, I’m not Abraham Lincoln. I’m not Franklin Roosevelt. How do I deal with these problems?”MR. COOPER: Have you picked up the phone and called any former president yet?THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I have.MR. COOPER: Do you want to say who?THE PRESIDENT: No, I don’t. They’re private conversations. (Laughter.) But — and, by the way, all of them have, with one exception, picked up the phone and called me as well. (Laughter.)MR. COOPER: I know you don’t want to talk about him, but — (laughter).THE PRESIDENT: No, but, look, it’s a — it’s the greatest honor I think an American can be given, from my perspective. And I literally pray that I have the capacity to do for the country what you all deserve need be done.But one thing I learned after eight years with Barack is, no matter how consequential the decision — I got to be the last person in the room with him, literally, on every decision — I can make a recommendation, but I walked out of the room, and it was all him, man. Nobody else. The buck stops there.And that’s where you pray for making sure that you’re looking at the impact on the country and a little bit of good luck at the judgment you’re making.MR. COOPER: Mr. President, thank you so much for joining us —THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.MR. COOPER: — in this town hall. (Applause.) /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. 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