Biden Delivers Remarks on Afghanistan, Tropical Storm Henri Response | NBC News

Biden Delivers Remarks on Afghanistan, Tropical Storm Henri Response | NBC News

450s. >>> THIS IS AN NBC NEWS SPECIAL REPORT WITH KATE SNOW. >> GOOD AFTERNOON BROOIND DELIVERING REPORT ON TROPICAL STORM HENRI AND AFGHANISTAN. >> I WAS BRIEFED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR HERE WITH ME TODAY ABOUT FLASH FLOODING IN WAVERLY, TENNESSEE AND SURROUNDING AREAS OF TENNESSEE. I WANT TO BEGIN BY EXPRESSING MY DEEPEST CONDOLENCES TO THE SUDDEN LOSS OF LIFE DUE TO THIS FLASH FLOOD. WE’VE REACHED OUT AND STAND READY TO SUPPORT. WE’VE SPOKEN TO GOVERNOR LEE TO OFFER ANY ASSISTANCE THEY MAY NEED. I MAY OFFER A FEW WORDS ON WHAT IS NOW TROPICAL STORM, NOT HURRICANE, HENRI, WHICH MADE LAND FALL APPROXIMATELY 12:15 IN RHODE ISLAND. HENRI IS IMPACTING MUCH OF THE NORTHEAST RIGHT NOW. I WANT TO TALK ABOUT OUR EFFORTS TO PREPARE AND RESPOND TO THIS STORM. WE HAVE BEEN CLOSELY MONITORING HENRI’S PROGRESS AND MAKING PREPARATIONS. FORTUNATELY IT IS NO LONGER HURRICANE, IT HAS BEEN DOWN GRADED TO TROPICAL STORM. WE ARE TAKING IT SERIOUSLY BECAUSE OF THE SIZE AND STORM SURGE AND THE RAINFALL IT IS PRODUCING. IT IS ALSO IMPACTING AN AREA OF THE COUNTRY ALREADY EXPERIENCED HEAVY RAINFALL OVER THE PAST SEVERAL DAYS. WHILE NEW ENGLAND IS USED TO DEALING WITH TOUGH WEATHER, THIS STORM AS POTENTIAL FOR WIDESPREAD CONSEQUENCES, FLOODING AND POWER OUTAGES THAT COULD AFFECT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE. WE ARE DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN NOW TO HELP THOSE STATES PREPARE, RESPOND AND RECOVER. I CAN’T THINK OF ANYONE BETTER TO LEAD THIS OPERATION THAN DEAN GRISSWELL OF FEMA. BEFORE SHE HEADED UP FEMA, SHE LED THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE IN NEW YORK CITY AND WAS ONE OF THE KEO OFFICIALS LEADING RESPONSE TO SUPER STORM SANDY. SHE KNOWS THIS STORM VERY WELL AND WHAT IS NEEDED BY EVERYONE. I TALKED TO THE SENATOR AND EACH GOVERNOR IN THE KEY STATES. I URGED THEM TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE ASSISTANCE FEMA WOULD OFFER IN ADVANCE AND COMMITTED TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO SUPPORT THE COMMUNITIES THROUGH THE STORM AND AFTERWARDS. FEMA HAS PREPOSITIONED RESOURCES TO SPEED OUR ABILITY TO RESPOND INCLUDING FOOD, WATER, LIFE-SAVINGS EQUIPMENT AS WELL AS GENERATORS. IN CLOSE COOPERATION, PREPARATIONS ARE IN PLACE TO ADDRESS SIGNIFICANT POWER OUTAGES AND THOSE THAT ARE STAGED AT THE EDGE OF THE STORM TO MOVE IN QUICKLY TO HELP. THOUSANDS OF ADDITIONAL LINE CREWS AND VEGETATION CLEARING CREWS ARE ALREADY HEADING TOWARDS THE IMPACTED STATES OF NEW ENGLAND. READY TO SERVE AND MOVE IN AS SOON AS FEASIBLE. THEY’LL CLEAN UP FALLEN TREES AND RESTORE ELECTION CALL SERVICE AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. I WANT TO THANK THESE CREWS TO THE COMMITMENT RESPONSIBLE TO HELP IN THE TIME OF NEED. >> I’VE ALREADY APPROVED EMERGENCY DECLARATIONS FOR RHODE ISLAND, CONNECTICUT AND NEW YORK, WHICH ACTIVATES FUNDS AND MEANS WE CAN GET IN THERE AND HELP AS SOON AS THIS EXTREME WEATHER HAS MOVED THROUGH. WE DON’T KNOW THE FULL EXTENT OF THE STORM’S IMPACT BUT WE ARE ACTING TO PREPARE FOR AND PREVENT DAMAGE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AND TO SPEED HELP TO THE EFFECTED COMMUNITIES SO THEY CAN RECOVER AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. I ALSO WANT TO ENCOURAGE TO EVERYONE TO DO THEIR PART TO PREPARE. SOME PLACES HAVE ALREADY HAD HEAVY RAIN AND WINDS AND STORM SURGES. HENRI WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE ACROSS MUCH OF THE NORTHEAST. IT IS IMPORTANT TO MONITOR AND BE PREPARED IN YOUR HOME AND COMMUNITY. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SUPPLIES IN THE ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD INCLUDING MEDICATIONS, FOOD, WATER, BATTERY OUTAGE RADIOS IN CASE OF POWER OUTAGES. YOU MAY NEED TO CHIC SHELTER WHILE YOU ARE BATTLING THE DELTA VARIANT AND COVID-19. SO WEAR A MASK AND TRY TO OBSERVE SOCIAL DISTANCING. EVERYONE ACROSS THE COUNTRY, DON’T GET CAUGHT BY THE NEXT STORM, GET VACCINATED. GET VACCINATED NOW. PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY AGAINST COVID-19. IT IS GOING TO BE A VITAL PART OF PREPAREDNESS THIS YEAR. THE REMAINDER OF THIS YEAR. LET ME TURN TO AFGHANISTAN. I CONTINUE TO MAKE PROGRESS SINCE I SPOKE TO YOU ON FRIDAY. WE HAVE MOVED THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE EACH DAY BY U.S. AIRCRAFT AND CHARTER FLIGHTS. A LITTLE OVER 30 HOURS THIS WEEKEND, EVACUATING THOUSANDS. ABOUT 11,000 INDIVIDUALS. THAT NUMBER WILL CHANGE DAY TO DAY AS THE AIR AND GROUND OPERATIONS IN KABUL VARY. OUR FIRST PRIORITY IS GETTING AMERICAN CITIZENS OUT OF THE COUNTRY AS QUICKLY AND SAFELY AS POSSIBLE. AT MY DIRECTION, THE STATE DEPARTMENT CONTINUES TO REACH OUT TO REMAINING AMERICANS WE HAVE IDENTIFIED BY PHONE, EMAIL AND OTHER MEANS TO ASCERTAIN THEIR WHEREABOUTS AND PLANS. WE ARE EXECUTING A PLAN TO MOVE GROUPS OF THESE AMERICANS TO SAFETY AND SAFELY AND EFFECTIVELY MOVE THEM TO THE COMPOUND. FOR SECURITY REASONS, I’M NOT GOING TO GO INTO DETAIL OF THESE PLANS. I HAVE SAY AGAIN. ANY AMERICAN WHO WANTS TO GET HOME WILL GET HOME. WE’VE ALSO BEEN EVACUATING THE CITIZENS OF OUR NATO ALLIES AND PARTNERS, DIPLOMATS AND EMBASSY STAFF WHO REMAIN IN AFGHANISTAN AND TO GET THEM BACK TO THEIR HOMES AS WELL. WE ARE ALSO WORKING TO MOVE OUR AFGHAN ALLIES WHO STOOD WITH US SIDE BY SIDE AND OTHER VULNERABLE AFGHANS SUCH AS WOMEN AND JOURNALISTS OUT OF THE COUNTRY. THIS MORNING, WE HAVE EVACUATED 28,000 PEOPLE SINCE AUGUST 14 ON BOTH U.S. AND COALITION AIRCRAFT INCLUDING CIVILIAN CHARTERS BRINGING THE TOTAL NUMBER WE’VE EVACUATED SINCE JULY TO 33,000 PERSONS. IN ONE 24-HOUR PERIOD THIS WEEKEND, 23 U.S. MILITARY FLIGHTS INCLUDING 14 C 17s, 9 C 130 FLIGHTS LEFT KABUL CARRYING 3,900 PASSENGERS. WE SEE NO REASON WHY THIS TEEM OWE WILL NOT BE KEPT UP. ANOTHER 35 CHARTER FLIGHTS CARRYING AN ADDITIONAL 4,000 EVACUATIES TO OTHER COUNTRIES TAKING THEM OUT. ALL TOGETHER, WE LIFTED APPROXIMATELY 11,000 PEOPLE OUT OF KABUL IN LESS THAN 36 HOURS. IT IS AN INCREDIBLE OPERATION. LET ME BE CLEAR. THE EVACUATION OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE FROM KABUL WILL BE HARD AND PAINFUL NO MATTER WHEN IT STARTED OR WHEN WE BEGAN. WOULD HAVE BEEN TRUE IF WE HAD STARTED A MONTH AGO OR A MONTH FROM NOW. THERE IS NO WAY TO AUTO EVACUATE THIS MANY AMOUNTF PEOPLE WITHOUT THE PAIN AND LOSS AND HEARTBREAKING IMAGES YOU ARE SEEING ON TELEVISION. IT IS JUST A FACT. MY HEART ACHES FOR THE PEOPLE YOU SEE. WE ARE PROVING WE CAN MOVE THOUSANDS A DAY OUT OF KABUL. OUR CITIZENS,ALLIES AND THOSE WHO HAVE HELPED US IN THE WAR EFFORT. WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO. A LOT CAN STILL GO WRONG. TO MOVE OUT OVER 30,000 PEOPLE IN JUST OVER A WEEK IS A GREAT TESTAMENT OF THE MEN AND WOMEN ON THE GROUND. IT REFLECTS A TIRELESS DIPLOMATIC EFFORT. TO MAXIMIZE OUR EVACUATION CAPACITY. WE ARE QUICKLY STOOD UP AN UNPRECEDENT THE GLOBAL EFFORT AND SET UP A SERIES OF PROCESSING STATIONS IN OTHER COUNTRIES WHERE WE ARE WORKING WITH MORE THAN TWO DOZEN COUNTRIES ACROSS FOUR CONTINENTS. WE’VE SECURED AGREEMENTS ACROSS THE GULF, CENTRAL ASIA, EUROPE, QATAR, GERMANY, KUWAIT, SPAIN AND ELSEWHERE THAT ALLOWS US TO SORT AND PROCESS THESE EVACUATIES. THESE CENTERS PROVIDE A SAFE PLACE FOR THE SIV APPLICATIONS AND OTHER VULNERABLE AFGHANS AND THEIR FAMILIES TO COMPLETE PAPERWORK WHILE WE CONDUCT SECURITY SCREENINGS AND BACKGROUND CHECKS BEFORE THEY MOVE ON TO THE FINAL DESTINATION IN THE UNITED STATES OR ANOTHER COUNTRY, ONE OF OUR NATO ALLIES AS WELL. FROM ASIA TO AFRICA, EUROPE TO THE WESTERN HAM FIERCE, NATIONS ARE MAKING GENEROUS OFFS TO SUPPORT RESETDLEMENT EFFORTS. I’VE BEEN IN PERSONAL CONTACT WITH LEADERS FROM QATAR, GERMANY, SPAIN, ITALY, UAE AND OTHERS. THEY ARE MAKING VITAL CONTRIBUTIONS. TO SHOW THEIR SUPPORT AND MOVING FORWARD IS THE REASON I REMAIN IN CONTACT WITH THEM. I WANT TO THANK ALL OF OUR PARTNER FOR CONTINUING TO STAND TOGETHER. WE’VE ACTIVATED FIRST STAGE OF WHAT WE REFER TO AS CIVIL AIR FLEET TO HELP WITH ONWARD MOVEMENT OF EVACUATIES. MILITARY AIRCRAFT WILL GET THEM TO THE CENTERS BUT THEN WE’LL GET THE CIVIL RESERVE FLEET PROGRAM DESIGNED IN THE WAKE OF THE BERLIN AIRLIFT AFTER WORLD WAR II TO USE COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT. A VOLUNTARY PROGRAM FOR OUR COMMERCIAL AIRLINES. WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THOSE AIRLINES AND U.S. CARRIERS THAT ARE SUPPORTING THIS. THIS WILL USE THREE OR FOUR PLANES FROM EACH CARRIER SO THERE SHOULD BE NO OR MINIMUM AFFECT ON AIR TRAVEL AND WE’LL STATE IN CLOSE COMMUNICATION WITH OUR PARTNERS TO MITIGATE IMPACT. THESE FLIGHTS WILL HELP FACILITATE THE MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE FROM STAGING LOCATIONS LIKE QATAR AND GERMANY TO THE UNITED STATES OR A THIRD COUNTRY. NONE OF THEM WILL BE LANDING IN KABUL. THE AMERICAN AIRCRAFT WILL NOT BE GOING TO ANY COUNTRY BUT THE UNITED STATES. AS THIS EFFORT UNFOLDS, I WANT TO BE CLEAR ABOUT THREE THINGS. ONE, PLANES TAKING OFF FROM KABUL ARE NOT FLYING DIRECTLY TO THE UNITED STATES. THEY ARE LANDING AT U.S. MILITARY BASES AND TRANSIT STATIONS AROUND THE WORLD. NUMBER TWO, AT THESE SITES, WE ARE CONDUCTING THOROUGH SECURITY SCREENING FOR EVERYONE NOT A U.S. CITIZEN OR A LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENCE. ANYONE ARRIVING IN THE UNITED STATES WILL HAVE UNDERGONE A BACKGROUND WHICH CAN. NUMBER THREE, ONCE SCREENED AND CLEARED, WE WILL WELCOME THESE AFGHANS WHO HAVE HELPED US IN THE WAR OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS TO THEIR NEW HOME IN AMERICA BECAUSE THAT’S WHO WE ARE. THAT’S WHO AMERICA IS. I’VE BEEN TOUCHED BY THE OUT POURING OF SUPPORT WE’VE SEEN FROM ORGANIZATIONS ACROSS AMERICA MOBILIZING TO SUPPORT THESE EFFORTS. SOEM OF THESE AFGHANS STOOD BRAVELY BY THESE TROOPS AND NOW THE UNITED STATES INCLUDING VETERANS GROUPS, REFUGEE SETTLEMENT AGENCIES, BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS AND MANY OTHERS ARE STANDING WITH OUR AFGHAN ALLIES. IT SHOWS THE BEST OF AMERICA. I WANT TO SAY AGAIN, JUST HOW DIFFICULT THIS MISSION IS AND THE DANGERS IT POSES TO THE TROOPS ON THE GROUND. THE SECURITY IS CHANGING RAPIDLY. CIVILIANS ARE GATHERED AT THE AIRPORT. WE CLEARED THOUSANDS OF THEM. WE KNOW TERRORISTS MAY TARGET THE SITUATION. TO MONITOR AND DISRUPT THREATS FROM ANY SOURCE INCLUDING THE LIKELY SOURCE BEING ISIS, ISIS K, THE AFGHAN FLEET REFERRED TO AS ISIS K BUT WE ARE UNDER NO ILLUSIONS ABOUT THE THREAT. I SAID ON FRIDAY, ISIS K IS A SWORN ENEMY OF THE TALIBAN. THEY HAVE A HISTORY OF FIGHTING ONE ANOTHER. BUT EVERY DAY WE HAVE TROOPS ON THE GROUND AND CIVILIANS AT THE AIRPORT, FACE THE LIKELY ATTACK FROM ISIS K FROM A DISTANCE EVEN THOUGH WE ARE MOVING BACK THE PERIMETER SIGNIFICANTLY. WE ARE MOVING HARD TO GET PEOPLE OUT AS FAST AS WE CAN. THAT’S OUR MISSION AND GOAL. OUR DETERMINATION TO GET EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN HOME. EVACUATING AFGHAN ALLIES IS UNWAVERING. WE WILL SEE THE INDIVIDUAL LIVES THAT ARE AFFECTED. THE FAMILIES DESPERATE TO GET HOME TO THEIR LOVED ONES IN AMERICA. COMMUNITIES OF VETERANS MOBILIZED TO TRY TO HELP THEIR FORMER INTERPRETERS GET TO SAFETY. FRIGHTENED AFGHANS WHO AREN’T SURE WHAT TO DO. TO STATE THE OBVIOUS, IT IS HEARTBREAKING. WE ARE ALL SEEING. WE FEEL IT. YOU CAN’T LOOK AT IT AND NOT FEEL IT. NOTHING ABOUT THIS EFFORT IS EASY. THE WOMEN AND MEN IN THE UNITED STATES FORCES HAVE ACT THE BRAVELY AND WITH PROFESSIONALISM AND COMPASSION. I WANT TO OFFER MY PROFOUND THANKS TO THOSE ON THE GROUND IN KABUL AND AT U.S. BASES AROUND THE WORLD WELCOMING AND CARING FOR THESE EVACUATIES. ALL THE DIPLOMATS AND CIVIL SERVANTS. OUR ALLIES AND AFGHAN ALLIES, WOMEN JOURNALISTS AND LEADERS. WHAT WE ARE DOING IS SKORD NAYRY. YOU HAVE TO THINK OF ALL THEY ARE DOING. THANKS TO THE PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD HELPING THIS EFFORT. I WANT TO THANK YOU. I’LL KEEP YOU INFORMED EVER DAY AS WE MOVE FORWARD. MAY GOD PROTECT OUR TROOPS AND DIPLOMATS SERVING IN HARM’S WAY. I’LL TAKE A FEW QUESTIONS. DARLENE FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS. >> THANK YOU. WE ARE NINE DAYS AWAY FROM THE AUGUST 31st DEADLINE. WILL YOU EXTEND THAT OR WHAT IS YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS ON EXTENDING THE EVACUATION OPERATION — >> WE’VE BEEN LISTENING TO PRESIDENT BIDEN ABOUT TROPICAL STORM HENRI AND ALSO AFGHANISTAN. LET’S GET TO MONICA AT THE WHITE HOUSE. >> THE PRESIDENT OFFERING A BIT OF A STATUS REPORT, TOUTING THE PROGRESS OF PARTICULARLY IN THE COURSE OF ABOUT 30 HOURS THIS WEEKEND, THE U.S. WAS ABLE TO EVACUATE 11,000 PEOPLE, AMERICAN CITIZENS, ALLIES AND THIRD PARTY NATIONALS. THE PRESIDENT ACKNOWLEDGING HOW DANGEROUS THE SECURITY SITUATION IS JUST BEYOND THE AIRPORT GATES. HE SAID IT WAS, QUOTE, HARD AND PAINFUL TO SEE SOME OF THE FOOTAGE THERE. THE WHITE HOUSE IS CLOSELY MONITORING POTENTIAL TERRORIST THREATS FROM ISIS AFFILIATES IN THE COUNTRY THAT COULD BE TARGETING AMERICANS. THE U.S. TARGETING NOW A GLOBAL EFFORT ENLISTING GLOBAL AIRLINERS FROM COUNTRIES TO THE U.S. WHERE MANY REFUGEES WILL EVENTUALLY SETTLE AT ARMY BASES HERE. >> DEFENDING THE SPEED. WE’LL HAVE MUCH MORE TONIGHT ON NBC NIGHTLY NEWS, ALSO ON MSNBC, NBC NEWS.COM WHENEVER YOU WANT TO CHE
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Biden Delivers Remarks on Afghanistan, Tropical Storm Henri Response | NBC News

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