James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
2:07 P.M. EDT
MS. PSAKI: Hi, everyone. Okay, a couple of items for all of you at the top. As the country recovers from this once-in-a-century pandemic and economic crisis, the private businesses that make up our supply chains and get goods to businesses and the American people have struggled to keep up. We’ve talked about this a fair amount in this briefing room.
This is not just happening here at home, but all around the world as COVID has led to shutdowns and disruptions at ports and factories around the world.
In June, the White House launched the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to address short-term supply chain bottlenecks. And after working closely with the leaders and companies at that port — on potential solutions, we announced a new port envoy to the task force in August.
Solving this issue is going to require cooperation between the private sector, including rail and trucking, ports, and labor unions. And so, tomorrow, the President will be meeting with the leadership of the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union to discuss the challenges at ports across the country and actions each partner can take to address these delays.
The administration will also hold a roundtable tomorrow with private sector companies, including Walmart, UPS, Home Depot, to discuss how the largest cargo owners and shipping companies can address congestion in the transportation and logistics supply chain.
We’ll also have a briefing later this evening with all of you, and people who are not in this room right now, to give you more details on any announcements for tomorrow.
I also wanted to note — I had one more item. I may — maybe I’ll get back to it at the end.
It’s also Jenny Leonard’s birthday, so we’ll just note that. Happy Birthday to Jenny.
There’s going to be a bilateral meeting with the President of Kenya later this week. I’ll get you more details after the briefing.
Q Thanks, Jen.
MS. PSAKI: And it’s a — it’s remote, obviously.
Q Is the administration going to sue Texas over the — opposing the order for the vaccine mandates? And is there a risk that, kind of, the OSHA efforts essentially get tied up in litigation rather than having the immediate effect?
MS. PSAKI: Well, Josh, these requirements are promulgated by federal law. So, when the President announced his vaccine mandates for businesses — that, of course, we’re waiting on OSHA regulations, as far as a next step — that was pursuant to federal law and the implementation of federal law because it’s an executive order.
So, our intention is to implement and continue to work to implement these requirements across the country, including in the states where there are attempts to oppose them.
I will say, since you gave me the opportunity, Governor Abbott’s executive order banning mandates — and I would also note an announcement by Governor DeSantis this morning, essentially banning the implementation of mandates — fit a familiar pattern that we’ve seen of putting politics ahead of public health. Over 700,000 American lives have been lost due to COVID-19, including more than 56,000 in Florida and over 68,000 in Texas. And every leader should be focused on supporting efforts to save lives and end the pandemic.
Why would you be taking steps that prevent the saving of lives, that make it more difficult to save lives in — across the country or in any state?
And I would also note that vaccine requirements have been standard in both the Lone Star State, Texas — in case you’re not familiar — and the Sunshine State, Florida, in schools for decades. Whether polio, measles, mumps, rubella, the chickenpox, there are vaccine requirements that have been implemented for decades in these…