By LIBBY CATHEY, Emily Shapiro, Tia Humphries, Lauren King and Morgan Windsor, ABC News
(Washington) — This is the 25th day of the administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Here’s how events unfolded on Friday. All Eastern Time:
February 12 at 9:23 pm
State Department raises Myanmar travel advisory level
The U.S. State Department on Friday raised Myanmar’s travel advisory to “Level 4: Do not travel” as protests against the military’s power grab earlier this month continued.
The updated travel warning states not to travel to Myanmar “due to COVID-19 and areas of civil unrest and armed conflict”.
“The Burmese military has detained and removed elected government officials,” the travel warning said. “Protests and demonstrations against military rule have occurred and are expected to continue.”
The U.S. State Department has not yet ordered the evacuation of U.S. embassy staff.
—Conor Finnegan for ABC News
February 12 at 6:51 pm
Biden calls on Congress to pass COVID-19 relief measures
In a written statement tonight, President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal “immediately” to help pay for additional costs to keep schools safe when they reopen.
He also urged states to prioritize vaccinating teachers based on the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Biden said the CDC’s guidance to schools includes “the best available scientific evidence on how to safely reopen schools,” such as ensuring social distancing, wearing masks, and washing hands.
“To meet these guidelines, some schools will need more teachers and support staff to ensure smaller class sizes, more buses and bus drivers to transport our children safely, more space for face-to-face teaching, as well as more protective equipment, school cleaning services, and physical modifications to reduce the risk of virus transmission,” Biden wrote.
“These needs cost money,” he continued. “But the cost of keeping our children, families and educators safe is minuscule compared to the cost of inaction.”
the House of Representatives passed Senate Amended Budget Resolution Last week, the way was paved for Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan.House Democrats are currently working on the package, which includes Target Send the final bill to the president by mid-March.
—Ben Kitson, ABC News
February 12 at 3:52 pm
White House to study how to close Guantanamo Bay prison
The White House has begun studying how to close the Guantanamo Bay military prison, officials said Friday.
Spokeswoman Emily Horne said the process would be led by the National Security Council.
“We are conducting the National Security Council process to assess the current situation that the Biden administration has inherited from the previous administration, consistent with our broader goal of closing Guantanamo,” Horn said in a statement.
She said the NSC will work with the Defense, State and Justice departments “and in close consultation with Congress to make progress on closing the GTMO facility.”
Horn did not provide a timeline for the process. She noted that the ministries still need to fill several key policy roles.
“There will be a strong interagency process to drive this forward, but we need the right people to do this important work,” Horn said.
At a White House news briefing on Thursday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said closing the prison was the administration’s “goal and intent” and that former President Barack Obama was unable to fully close it during his tenure.
“We’ve got three and a half weeks,” Psaki said, referring to President Joe Biden’s short time in office. “So we’re going through the National Security Council process, which is the way it’s supposed to work.”
—Ben Kitson, ABC News
February 12 at 1:00 pm
Biden, Harris meet with bipartisan groups of governors, mayors
Biden and Harris met with a bipartisan group of governors and mayors in the Oval Office Friday morning, and the president said the most important part of the U.S. rescue plan is to give local leaders the resources they need to fight the virus at home.
“I think the most important thing is to make sure that we give them enough capacity to deal with the virus in their states and how we’re going to do that,” Biden said. in terms of being able to make sure they get their kids back to school and what role the federal government should play in helping to make that happen.”
Biden also praised governors and mayors for being “on the front lines” of the coronavirus response in their respective states or cities.
“The federal government has a big role to play here. But these guys are on the ground dealing with this every day … so whenever I want to know what the hell is going on, I want to talk to the governor and the mayor — and I don’t really care.”
—Justin Gomez for ABC News
February 12 at 12:16
Obamacare Special Enrollment Period Begins Feb. 15
Open enrollment for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, will begin Monday and remain open for the next three months.
Americans will be able to purchase coverage on the Federal Insurance Marketplace between February 15 and May 15. The site serves 36 states. Residents of the other 14 states, as well as Washington, D.C., must use their state’s website to apply for and enroll in coverage.
Biden signed an executive order last month calling on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to reopen registration to ensure a second chance for those who missed it late last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The last registration period opens on November 1st and ends on December 15th.
—Anne Flaherty for ABC News
February 12 at 11:20 am
Biden administration to start admitting migrants forced to wait in Mexico
The Biden administration plans to start processing and admitting migrants forced to wait in Mexico starting next week under the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), three administration officials said.
Officials said the “first phase” of the new entry program will begin at three ports of entry and involve the identification and processing of MPP cases currently being processed by asylum seekers who have been designated to wait for U.S. immigrants on the Mexican side of the border. Court hearing date. This group is estimated to number around 25,000 individuals.
The asylum seekers will be taken to a U.S. port of entry, released and monitored after obtaining information and passing a COVID-19 test in Mexico.It is unclear how migrants will be tracked once they are allowed to return to the U.S.
Once the admission program is up and running, officials estimate each port of entry can handle about 300 people a day.
February 12 at 9:06 am
First lady installs giant Valentine’s Day message outside White House
First Lady Jill Biden installed a giant Valentine’s Day message on the North Lawn of the White House.
Large heart message features words like “unity”, “kindness” and “healing”.
“Overnight, the First Lady’s surprise Valentine’s Day message to the nation was installed on the North Lawn over the weekend, recalling the sharing of candy among friends and family,” the first lady’s office said in a statement Friday morning. Heart day.” “As you know, the First Lady is known for her sense of humor, love of surprise, and celebration of tradition, especially with family. Valentine’s Day has always been one of her favorite days. Spreading healing, unity, A message of hope and hope.” Compassion, it was her lover of the country. “
The first lady was outside with the president and their dogs Champ and Major, viewing the installation and speaking with reporters.
“We hope this lifts your spirits,” Jill Biden said, cup of coffee in hand.
Asked what message he had for Americans who might be feeling down or depressed amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 475,000 people in the U.S., the president said to “stay strong,” referring to his own losses. The experience of a loved one.
“There is hope. You just have to stay strong,” Biden said. Many people have experienced unbearable pain. They’ve lost their families, they’ve lost their children, they’ve lost their husbands, their wives, their moms, their dads, and it’s almost unbearable. The only thing I can say to them is that they are still in your heart. “
“They really are,” he added. “I can tell you from experience that they’re in your heart.”
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