The White House Blog: The President

  • It's On Every Single One of Us

    Today, the President announced an initiative to help put an end to campus sexual assault. It's called "It's On Us."

    That's not just a slogan or catchphrase. It's the whole point. Because in a country where one in five women on college campuses has been sexually assaulted -- only 12 percent of which are reported -- this is a problem that should be important to every single one of us, and it's on every single one of us to do something to end the problem. 

    As a husband, as a brother, and as a father of three boys and daughter who is a sophomore in college, it's on me to help create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable, and where survivors are supported.

    It's on me to tell my kids to never blame the victim. To not be a bystander. It's on me to make sure they know that if they see something that looks wrong, they need to get involved -- to intervene any way they can, even if it means enlisting the help of a friend or resident advisor. It's on me to teach them to be direct, and to trust their gut.

    That's why this is personal for me. 

    And it’s why I took a step this morning to show my commitment to doing my part.  And whether you're a parent, a student, a survivor or a friend of one, there's something you can do right now to do the same.

    Go to ItsOnUs.org, and take the pledge -- a personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault. It's a promise that you won't be a bystander to the problem -- that you'll be a part of the solution. The President took the pledge this morning. I did, too -- along with dozens of other White House staffers. Do it right now.


  • Standing United Against ISIL: "We're Strongest as a Nation When the President and Congress Work Together"

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    In a bipartisan vote, the House and Senate passed a Continuing Resolution that supports the U.S. military effort to train and equip moderate Syrian opposition forces so they can take the fight to the terrorist force ISIL.

    At the White House tonight, President Obama delivered a statement to clearly outline these efforts and to thank Congress for standing united in our efforts to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL.

    I believe that we’re strongest as a nation when the President and Congress work together. And I want to thank leaders in Congress for the speed and seriousness with which they approached this urgent issue -- in keeping with the bipartisanship that is the hallmark of American foreign policy at its best.


  • West Wing Week: 09/19/14 or, "You Guys Aren't Usually This Quiet, Are You?"

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    This week, the President celebrated the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps, awarded the Medal of Honor to two American heroes, detailed U.S. efforts to combat the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa at the CDC in Atlanta, spoke to the troops at MacDill Air Force Base about our strategy against ISIL, before returning to meet with the Ukrainian President. That's September 12 to 19 or, "You guys aren't usually this quiet, are you?" 

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  • New Executive Actions to Combat Antibiotic Resistance and Protect Public Health

    Today, the Obama administration is announcing a comprehensive set of new federal actions to combat the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and protect public health. Additionally, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is releasing a related report on Combating Antibiotic Resistance.

    The discovery of antibiotics in the early 20th century fundamentally transformed medicine; antibiotics now save millions of lives each year in the United States and around the world. Yet bacteria repeatedly exposed to the same antibiotics can become resistant to even the most potent drugs. These so-called antibiotic-resistant bacteria can present a serious threat to public health, national security, and the economy.

    In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotic-resistant infections are associated with an additional 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses in the United States each year. The estimated annual impact of antibiotic-resistant infections on the national economy is $20 billion in excess direct health care costs, and as much as $35 billion in lost productivity from hospitalizations and sick days. Antibiotics are also critical to many modern medical interventions, including chemotherapy, surgery, dialysis, and organ transplantation.


  • 5 Things to Know: The President Lays Out the U.S. Plan to Degrade and Destroy ISIL

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    President Obama travelled to Tampa, Florida to speak to service men and women at MacDill Air Force Base about the U.S. strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL, a terrorist organization that is killing innocent, unarmed civilians  in both Iraq and Syria. ISIL, also known as ISIS or the Islamic State, is also responsible for the brutal murders of American journalists Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff.

    "In a world where technology provides a small group of killers with the ability to do terrible harm, it is America that has the capacity and the will to mobilize the world against terrorists,” he told servicemembers. To effectively do so, the U.S. will execute a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy that will empower the international community and local leaders to decimate these terrorists. 


    "If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven."



  • A Major Increase in Our Response to the Ebola Outbreak

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    This afternoon, during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, President Obama spoke on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and announced a major increase in our efforts to help the international community fight the outbreak.

    While starting off by reiterating that the chances of an Ebola outbreak happening in the U.S. are extremely low, he made clear that West Africa faces "a very different situation," especially in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea -- the countries that have been hardest hit by the current outbreak:

    [CDC Director Tom Frieden] and others recently returned from the region, and the scenes that they describe are just horrific.  More than 2,400 men, women and children are known to have died -- and we strongly suspect that the actual death toll is higher than that.  Hospitals, clinics and the few treatment centers that do exist have been completely overwhelmed.  An already very weak public health system is near collapse in these countries.  Patients are being turned away, and people are literally dying in the streets.


  • Here's What a Medal of Honor Presentation at the White House Looks Like:

    This afternoon at the White House, President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to Army Command Sergeant Major Bennie G. Adkins and Army Specialist Four Donald P. Sloat for their actions in Vietnam.

    Most Americans know that the Medal of Honor is the highest military award that a member of the U.S. armed forces can receive -- but what goes into the actual award ceremony at the White House?

    In June, we went behind the scenes as the President presented the Medal of Honor to Cpl. William "Kyle" Carpenter, a retired United States Marine, for his actions during combat operations in Afghanistan.

    Take a look here -- and pass it on:

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  • Weekly Address: We Will Degrade and Destroy ISIL

    President Obama tapes the Weekly Address on ISIL

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the State Dining Room of the White House. September 12, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    In this week’s address, the President reiterated his comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group ISIL.

    His plan brings together a campaign of targeted airstrikes, increased support for Iraqi and Kurdish forces already taking on terrorists, assistance from allies and partners, expanded efforts to train and equip the Syrian opposition, and ongoing humanitarian aid for those displaced by ISIL. The President expressed his immense appreciation for the military men and women who make these efforts possible, and reminded the world that America continues to lead and stand strong against terror.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3


  • Weekly Wrap Up: September 6-12

    This week, President Obama spoke about the threat posed by ISIL and commemorated the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we marked the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and the First Lady hosted a "prep" rally in Atlanta.

    Check out what else you may have missed this week in our weekly wrap up.


    “If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”

    On Wednesday evening, from the State Floor of the White House, President Obama spoke to the American people about our comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).

    ISIL was formerly al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq and has since infiltrated territories on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border. Although ISIL calls itself the “Islamic State,” the President highlighted that:

    ISIL is not ‘Islamic.’ No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state. ... It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates.


  • Celebrating 20 Years of AmeriCorps

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    This morning at the White House, President Obama joined former President Bill Clinton in celebrating the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps, and welcoming some of the national service program's newest members.

    Across the country today, thousands of people took the pledge to be AmeriCorps members. Since AmeriCorps' inception in 1994, 900,000 Americans have served in the program and have committed 1.2 billion hours of service.

    In his remarks, President Obama noted how today's event echoed "back to that day in 1994, when President Clinton swore in that first class of AmeriCorps members right here at the White House."