South Lawn

6:45 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: I thought we had a — a good trip to New Jersey and New York. Those people need help. I’m confident we can get it to them and I’m confident we can help change their circumstance. But — so, I thought it was a good trip. I got a chance to talk to a lot of people. I hope you got a chance to talk to some of them as well. But it — I think it went well.

Q Mr. President, on COVID, you’re going to speak this week about the next steps to combat the pandemic. What will you suggest? What will you lay out?

And is it possible —

THE PRESIDENT: I’ll tell you tomorrow.

Q Is it possible to defeat the pandemic, or just control it at this point?

THE PRESIDENT: I’ll talk about it tomorrow —

Q Are you worried, Mr. —

THE PRESIDENT: — on Thursday.

Q Mr. President, are you worried that the Taliban will get funding from China?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, China has a real problem with the Taliban, so they’re going to try to work out some arrangement with the Taliban, I’m sure — as does Pakistan, as does Russia, as does Iran. They’re all trying to figure out, what do they do now. So it will be interesting to see what happens.

Q Mr. President, have you talked to Senator Manchin? And what do you think this — how deep is his resistance, do you think, to the reconciliation bill?

THE PRESIDENT: Joe — Joe, at the end, has always been there. He’s always been with me. I think we can work something out. And I look forward to speaking with him.

Q Are you comfortable with the timing of the bill? Do you think — seeing what you’ve seen in New Jersey, today, and New York, should the first bill be passed now to get that (inaudible)?

THE PRESIDENT: I — I’m comfortable with proceeding the way we’re proceeding so far.

Thank you.

6:47 P.M. EDT

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