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August 01, 2014
09:08 PM EDT
Ed. note: This is cross-posted from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention website. See the original post here.
The current Ebola outbreak is centered on three countries in West Africa: Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, although there is the potential for further spread to neighboring African countries. Ebola does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public. The CDC is surging resources by sending 50 more workers to the area to help bring the outbreak under control.
What is Ebola?
Ebola virus is the cause of a viral hemorrhagic fever disease. Symptoms include: fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, and abnormal bleeding. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to ebola virus though 8-10 days is most common
How is Ebola transmitted?
Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected symptomatic person or though exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions.
August 01, 2014
06:03 PM EDT
This week, something happened that hasn't happened since 1997 (hint: it's about jobs); the Vice President participated in #ThrowbackThursday; the Press Secretary surprised a few folks by inviting them to dinner with the President; and the President strolled down Main Street, grabbing some iced tea, touring an antique watch shop, and chatting with local residents along the way.
Check out what else you may have missed in this week's wrap up.
It's the first Friday of the month, so you know what that means. (Or you might not -- that's ok, too.) It's Jobs Day, and we saw another month of encouraging trends in the labor market.
In July, the private sector gained 198,000 jobs, and total job growth has exceeded 200,000 jobs for six straight months -- the first time that has happened since 1997. And we've seen 53 straight months of job growth, which is the longest streak on record.
Adam GarberAugust 01, 2014
05:44 PM EDT
In this video briefing from the West Wing, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes provides an update on recent U.S. actions with regard to Ukraine and offers an overview of America's policy position.
Cameron BrenchleyAugust 01, 2014
01:59 PM EDT
They risked their lives for our country, yet each night tens of thousands of veterans are sleeping in shelters, in their car, or on the street. Across the country, there are more than 58,000 homeless veterans, a staggering number that First Lady Michelle Obama called “a stain on the soul of this nation,” during a speech yesterday at the National Alliance to End Homelessness Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.
"But as Americans, the idea that anyone who has worn our country’s uniform spends their nights sleeping on the ground should horrify us."
And so it is truly our duty to right this wrong and put an end to veteran homelessness, once and for all.
But that moral and patriotic duty is only part of the reason why ending veteran homelessness is so critical. As we all know, ending homelessness for our veterans can also be a crucial first step -- a proof point -- to show that we can end homelessness for everyone in this country, too.
Adam GarberAugust 01, 2014
01:48 PM EDT
This week, the President hosted the inaugural Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, reaffirmed America's commitment to Ukraine, and continued responding to Americans' letters - this time in Kansas City.
Friday, July 25th
- The President and Vice President hosted Presidents Otto Perez Molina of Guatemala, Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras, and Salvador Sanchez Ceren of El Salvador to discuss how the United States and Central American governments are cooperating to disrupt smuggling organizations and promote safe, legal, and orderly migration.
- The President spoke to the American Legion Boys and Girls Nation in the East Room, where he was serenaded ahead of his birthday, and took a photo with the group of budding American leaders.
- At the end of the day, the President dropped by the Vice President's office to meet the nation's oldest living female veteran, 108 year-old Lucy Coffey.
August 01, 2014
12:28 PM EDT
Ed. note: This is cross-posted from The Huffington Post. See the original here.
Today, President Obama will sign into law the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, and in doing so, will achieve a rare trifecta: a win for American consumers, a win for wireless competition, and an example of democracy at its best -- bipartisan congressional action in direct response to a call to action from the American people.
The story of how we broke through Washington gridlock to restore the freedom of consumers to take their mobile phone wherever they choose is one worth telling, and a model worth repeating.
The effort began with a digital petition on the White House's We the People site, an online platform where citizens can offer ideas for the Administration to take action on important issues facing our country. A digital rights activist named Sina Khanifar submitted a simple request: restore an exception to the law to let consumers take their mobile phone to the carrier that best suits their needs by "unlocking" the device.
Jason FurmanAugust 01, 2014
09:30 AM EDT
Total job growth exceeded 200,000 for the sixth straight month in July, the first time that has happened since 1997. This encouraging trend in the labor market is consistent with other recent economic indicators, including the strong second-quarter GDP growth reported on Wednesday. To ensure this momentum can be sustained, the President is pressing Congress to act to create jobs and expand opportunity, while simultaneously using his own executive authority to encourage investment in the United States, boost the income of working families, and ensure safe and fair treatment of American workers.
FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
1. The private sector has added 9.9 million jobs over 53 straight months of job growth, the longest streak on record. Today we learned that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 209,000 in July, mainly reflecting a 198,000 increase in private employment. Private-sector job growth in May and June were revised up slightly, so that over the past twelve months, private employment has risen by a total of 2.5 million.
Ezra MechaberJuly 31, 2014
06:37 PM EDT
President Obama traveled to Kansas City, Missouri this week — where he grabbed some BBQ with Americans who had written him letters, and delivered a speech about how he's working to get things done for hardworking Americans even as Congress chooses not to act to move this country forward.
And before he left, the President took a walk down Main Street (literally), spending time with store owners, touring an antique watch shop, and chatting with customers at a local coffee shop.
Ezra MechaberJuly 30, 2014
07:02 PM EDT
Today, Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer sent the message below to the White House email list. Didn't get it? Sign up for updates.
The House of Representatives just took a vote -- and it wasn't to raise the minimum wage, put in place equal pay, create jobs, or reform our broken immigration system.
Instead, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives just voted to sue the President for using his executive authority. This lawsuit will waste valuable time and potentially millions of taxpayer dollars.
This is the least productive Congress in decades. And instead of doing their job, they are suing the President for doing his.
The President is committed to making a difference for the millions of hardworking Americans trying to do right by their families and communities. While Republicans in Congress continue to waste taxpayer money, this President is going to keep doing his job.
Cameron BrenchleyJuly 30, 2014
03:34 PM EDT
President Barack Obama talks with a youngster outside Arthur Bryant's Barbeque in Kansas City, Missouri, July 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Yesterday, President Obama traveled to Kansas City, Missouri for a short one-day trip to have dinner with several people who had written him letters, and to give a speech today on ensuring that the economy works for everyone.
Last night, the President had dinner at Arthur Bryant’s BBQ in Kansas City with four local residents who had written to him to share how they're working hard to get ahead in America.
This is just the latest stop the President has made while on the road to meet with hardworking Americans who have written him, and to let them know he’s listening.
July 30, 2014
11:37 AM EDT
On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed both Medicare and Medicaid into law. Over the past 49 years, Medicare has provided comprehensive coverage to millions of seniors and people with disabilities, while Medicaid has provided coverage for millions of the most vulnerable Americans: low-income parents, children, and those with disabilities.
Because of the Affordable Care Act, states are expanding their Medicaid programs to cover more Americans, and today, Medicaid covers over 66 million Americans.
Bill Sheshko, a 55-year-old self-employed man from Fair Lawn, New Jersey, experienced the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion first hand. He’d been without health insurance for years, but with the Affordable Care Act, and because his state decided to expand Medicaid, he finally became eligible for Medicaid.
A few months ago, Bill began having difficulty breathing and noticed his legs and feet starting to swell. Because of his new coverage, Bill was able to make an appointment with his doctor and was subsequently diagnosed with congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. After a few scary days in the hospital, he is now home and working with his doctors to control his conditions with medication and diet. In a letter to the President, Bill wrote about the true meaning of his health coverage: “At least now I have a chance, all because of you.”
Jason FurmanJuly 30, 2014
09:35 AM EDT
Economic growth in the second quarter was strong, consistent with the recent further improvement in the labor market and other indicators. The economy could do even better if Congress does its part to help — starting with taking the steps needed to ensure that work on our roads and bridges is not brought to a halt this fall. But to make further progress, the President is pressing ahead on his own authority, taking action to facilitate investments in American manufacturing, energy, and infrastructure.
FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS
1. Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 4.0 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter of 2014, according to the advance estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The second-quarter increase in GDP follows a first-quarter decline that was slightly less steep than previously reported. In the second quarter, growth in consumer spending and business investment picked up from the previous quarter, and residential investment increased following two straight quarters of decline. Additionally, state and local government spending grew at the fastest quarterly rate in five years. However, net exports subtracted from overall GDP growth, as imports grew faster than exports. Over the last four quarters, real GDP has risen 2.4 percent.
David HudsonJuly 29, 2014
06:58 PM EDT
This afternoon, President Obama spoke on the South Lawn about the situation in Ukraine, in the wake of the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly two weeks ago.
"In the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, and countries around the world," he said, "families are still in shock over the sudden and tragic loss of nearly 300 loved ones senselessly killed when their civilian airliner was shot down over territory controlled by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine."
Noting that those families and their nations are America's friends and allies, the President made clear that the U.S. "continues to do everything in our power to help bring home their loved ones, support the international investigation, and make sure justice is done."
President Obama then explained that Russia, along with its proxies in Ukraine, are neither cooperating with the investigation, nor pursuing a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Ukraine:
David HudsonJuly 29, 2014
05:52 PM EDT
This afternoon, in a 97-0 vote, the Senate confirmed Robert "Bob" McDonald to serve as the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
In a statement, President Obama applauded the Senate for the confirmation, noting that McDonald is "uniquely equipped" to lead the Department:
I applaud the overwhelming, bipartisan confirmation of Bob McDonald as our next Secretary of Veterans Affairs. As a veteran himself and a proud member of a military family, Bob is deeply committed to serving our veterans and their families. And as an executive with decades of private-sector experience, he is uniquely equipped to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, and to help change the way the VA does business. As a country, we have a solemn duty to serve our veterans as well as they have served us. I know Bob will help us honor that commitment and make sure every veteran gets the care they deserve, the benefits they’ve earned, and the chance to pursue the American Dream they’ve risked so much to protect.
David HudsonJuly 29, 2014
02:28 PM EDT
This summer, President Obama is traveling across the country to meet with everyday Americans who have written him about what's going on in their lives.
Ahead of the President's trip to Kansas City this evening, White House Press Secretary and Kansas City native Josh Earnest called a few people in the area and invited them out to dinner with the President.
Cecilia MuñozJuly 29, 2014
01:25 PM EDT
Today at the White House, I was delighted to host a roundtable discussion with leaders from across the aging community who came together to discuss the White House Conference on Aging, which will take place in 2015 – the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security.
Just yesterday, the Medicare Trustees released their annual report finding that, since their report last year, the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by four additional years to 2030. When this Administration first took office, the Trust Fund was projected to go bankrupt more than a dozen years sooner, in 2017. The Trustees also project that – for the second year in a row – Part B premiums will not increase, allowing seniors to keep more of their Social Security cost-of-living increase.
Thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, we have improved the affordability of the program, while at the same time helping Medicare work better for seniors. For example, we are closing the prescription drug coverage gap or “donut hole” to make medications more affordable for Medicare beneficiaries. Just today, we learned that 8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities saved $11.5 billion since 2010 – over $1,000 on average for people hitting the donut hole. Additionally, Medicare now provides coverage without cost-sharing for many preventive benefits to help keep older Americans healthy. The Affordable Care Act also responds to older Americans’ desire to remain independent in their communities by creating incentives for states to provide the services and supports that help people remain at home as they age.
Lindsay HolstJuly 29, 2014
12:03 PM EDT
Labor Secretary Tom Perez is traveling with Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Toledo, Ohio, today to see first-hand model programs and partnerships that are equipping Americans with the knowledge, skills and industry-relevant education they need to get on the pathway to a successful career.
We want to make sure you see what they see, too. Follow along today to see live updates and highlights from their day.
First stop: The Toledo Technology Academy.
The path to good jobs begins in grade school. Students in grades 7 – 12 receive an intense integrated academic and technical education that prepares them for a rewarding, life-long career in engineering or manufacturing technologies. Along with more “typical” high school classes, they receive hands-on training in plastics technologies, automated systems, manufacturing operations, computer-automated design, electronics and other manufacturing technologies. The academy works closely with employers – including the local GM plant – to provide students with industry recognized credentials and certification. Students also can earn advanced credit at local 2- and 4-year colleges. In April, the Toledo Public School System was awarded a $3.8 million Youth CareerConnect grant that will expand the Toledo Technology Academy’s model to serve more students.
...Where students on the robotics team earn a varsity letter.
— US Labor Department (@USDOL) July 29, 2014
July 29, 2014
11:26 AM EDT
The signs of climate change are all around us. The average temperature in the United States during the past decade was 0.8° Celsius (1.5° Fahrenheit) warmer than the 1901-1960 average, and the last decade was the warmest on record both in the United States and globally. Global sea levels are currently rising at approximately 1.25 inches per decade, and the rate of increase appears to be accelerating.
The scientific consensus is that these changes, and many others, are largely consequences of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases that have led to a warming of the atmosphere and oceans.
The Council of Economic Advisers released a report today that examines the economic consequences of delaying implementing policies to reduce the pace and ultimate magnitude of these changes; the findings emphasize the need for policy action today. The report was written under the leadership of Jim Stock, who recently resigned as a Member of the Council of Economic Advisers to return to his teaching position at Harvard University.
KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS
1. Immediate action substantially reduces the cost of achieving climate targets. Taking meaningful steps now sends a signal to the market that reduces long-run costs of meeting the target. Such action will reduce investments in high-carbon infrastructure that is expensive to replace and will spur development of new low- and zero-emissions technologies. For both reasons, the least-cost mitigation path to achieve a given climate target typically starts with a relatively low price of carbon to send these signals to the market, and subsequently increases as new low-carbon technologies are developed and deployed. An analysis of research on the cost of delay for hitting a specified climate target suggests that net mitigation costs increase, on average, by approximately 40 percent for each decade of delay.
Alex WallJuly 29, 2014
10:38 AM EDT
Climate change is not a distant threat – we're already experiencing its harmful impacts. That's why President Obama has taken action to cut carbon pollution by moving to cleaner sources of energy and improving the energy efficiency of our cars, trucks, and buildings. But further steps are urgently needed to ensure that we leave our kids a planet that’s not polluted or damaged.
Today, the White House released a new report from the Council of Economic Advisers that breaks down the economic consequences of delaying action to combat climate change. The report finds that delaying policy actions by a decade increases total climate change mitigation costs by about 40%, and failing to take any action would risk substantial economic damage.
So how will this affect you and your community? Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, is taking to Twitter to answer your questions. Today, July 29 at 2:30 p.m. ET, join him for a Twitter Q&A on the economic impacts of climate change on his Twitter handle, @CEAChair.
Here's what you need to know:
- Ask your questions now and during the live event on Twitter with the hashtag #WHClimateChat
- Follow the Q&A live through the @CEAChair Twitter handle
- If you miss the live Q&A, the full session will be posted on WhiteHouse.gov and Storify.com/whitehouse
July 29, 2014
08:16 AM EDT
Today, in a major step to advance the President’s Climate Data Initiative, the Obama administration is inviting leaders of the technology and agricultural sectors to the White House to discuss new collaborative steps to unleash data that will help ensure our food system is resilient to the effects of climate change.
More intense heat waves, heavier downpours, and severe droughts and wildfires out west are already affecting the nation’s ability to produce and transport safe food. The recently released National Climate Assessment makes clear that these kinds of impacts are projected to become more severe over this century.
Food distributors, agricultural businesses, farmers, and retailers need accessible, useable data, tools, and information to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of their operations – from water availability, to timing of planting and harvest, to storage practices, and more.
Today’s convening at the White House will include formal commitments by a host of private-sector companies and nongovernmental organizations to support the President’s Climate Data Initiative by harnessing climate data in ways that will increase the resilience of America’s food system and help reduce the contribution of the nation’s agricultural sector to climate change.