Biden, with COVID, makes virtual unscheduled appearance to talk about gas prices
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COVID-19 rival President Biden made brief, unscheduled remarks Friday afternoon about his administration’s efforts to lower record gas prices and increase US oil production.
Biden, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and is experiencing mild symptoms, actually appeared for an unscheduled briefing with his economic team on Friday.
“Let me start by apologizing, my voice, I feel a lot better than I look,” said the president, who coughed several times during the appearance.
“We have some really good news. Gas prices are going down,” he continued. “In fact, gas prices are dropping every day this summer for 38 days in a row.”
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Now Americans “can find gas for $3.99 or less at more than 30,000 gas stations in more than 34 states,” Biden said.
“We’ve worked hard to bring the price down,” he said.
Referring to his order to release 1 million barrels per day of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve per day, Biden said he had “led the world to orchestrate the largest release of oil reserves in history, including from other countries.”
“In total, more than 240 million barrels to boost global supply,” Biden said.
Biden said he is also working to increase US production, saying the US is “producing 12 million barrels per day and we’re on track to achieve record levels.”
“I’ve been working to make sure that when the price of oil goes down, the price at the pump goes down as well — it goes down in real time,” he said.
The good news is that it’s happening, Biden said, “but it’s not happening fast enough.
“We have made progress, but prices are still very high,” Biden said, stressing that his administration is looking for ways to “increase oil production from existing wells and permits that exist today.”
“The industry has more approved programs to produce on federal land than it could use,” Biden said, responding to Republican criticism that his administration is not approving new land permits quickly enough.
“Use the pass or lose it. Don’t say we can, you don’t have access,” Biden said, delivering a “message” to the oil companies.
Biden also said companies were “making record profits” because of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
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“Use these profits to increase production and refining,” he said. “Do not use these profits to buy back shares and dividends.”
Biden also said that allies and partners agreed at the G7 summit last month to “keep supplies high and Putin’s revenue dwindling in the coming days and weeks.”
“I will continue to do what I can to bring the price of gas down at the pump. But the real answer is to get to the clean energy economy as quickly as possible, and turn that into something positive,” Biden said.
“This is how we protect the climate and create jobs,” Biden said, noting that he “will have a lot to say about this in our discussions and more in the coming days.”
The White House doctor said on Friday that COVID-19 for President Biden Symptoms have “improved” but he said he had a fever Thursday night.
The president’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, said the president “completed his first full day of baxilvids last night.”
“His symptoms have improved,” O’Connor said, noting that the president “has a temperature yesterday evening of 99.4 degrees Fahrenheit, which responded positively to acetaminophen (Tylenol).”
“His temperature has remained normal since then,” O’Connor said. His symptoms are still characterized by a runny nose (runny nose) and tiredness, with an occasional unproductive cough, now “loose”.
“His voice is deeper this morning,” O’Connor said. “His pulse, blood pressure, breathing rate and oxygen saturation are all still perfectly normal in the room air.”
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“There has been nothing in the course of his disease so far that gives me reason to change that initial prediction,” O’Connor said, adding that “early use of baxlovid provides additional protection against severe disease.”