WARWICK, RI — Mayor Frank Picozzi was among local officials greeting President Joe Biden at TF Green Airport Wednesday, and he’s self-isolating following news of the president’s COVID diagnosis.
Biden, who stopped at the Rhode Island airport on his way to give a Climate Change speech in Somerset, MA, began experiencing a runny nose and dry cough the night of the visit July 20, according to the White House. He is working comfortably at the White House, having received Paxlovid, an antiviral drug used to lessen the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. Biden has been fully vaccinated and double-boosted against the virus, according to the White House.
“So I anticipate he will respond favorably, as most maximally-protected patients do,” said Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, reading a letter from Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor.
“Because the President is fully vaccinated, double-boosted, his risk of serious illness is dramatically lower. He’s also getting treated with a very powerful anti-viral. And that further reduces his risk of serious illness. And it’s a reminder of the reason that we all work so hard to make sure that every American has the same level of protection that the president has,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, Coordinator of the U.S. COVID-19 response.
Picozzi is also vaccinated and boosted, said the Mayor’s Press Secretary, Elizabeth Tufts, though he has yet to receive his second booster shot after contracting the virus in late December.
Biden: Climate change is an emergency
“As President, I have a responsibility to act with urgency and resolve when our nation faces clear and present danger. And that’s what climate change is about. It is literally, not figuratively, a clear and present danger,” Biden said during his remarks, noting that the U.N.’s leading international climate scientists called the latest climate report, “code red for humanity.”
“Let me say it again: “Code red for humanity.” It’s not a group of political official — elected officials. These are the scientists,” Biden said.
Despite that call for decisive action, the opposition of Republican Senators and one Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin, whose fortune’s derived from coal, have blocked Biden’s $300 billion climate action plan. Acting now on climate is a duty everyone has to the economy and the nation’s young people, Biden said.
“And so does Congress, which — notwithstanding the leadership of the men and women that are here today — has failed in this duty. Not a single Republican in Congress stepped up to support my climate plan. Not one,” Biden said.
So, Biden pledged to use Presidential executive power to promote as much action toward curbing climate change as possible.
“And in the coming weeks, I’m going to use the power I have as President to turn these words into formal, official government actions through the appropriate proclamations, executive orders, and regulatory power that a President possesses.”
When asked his view on climate change, the reason his meeting with the President occured, Picozzi said he hasn’t developed an opinion on the subject yet.
On his Facebook page, Picozzi said the meeting itself was was an honor.
“As the elected Mayor of Warwick I had the privilege of standing in the shadow of Air Force One and welcoming the President of the United States to my city. I really don’t care who likes or dislikes him. Even if you don’t respect the person, you must respect the office,” Picozzi wrote.
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