x

Politics

Biden Gives Calif. Woman Pep Talk in Weekly Address Revival

February 7, 2021

WILMINGTON, Del. — President Joe Biden gave a pep talk to a California woman who was laid off because of the coronavirus pandemic, during a conversation the White House said is part of an effort to help him engage more consistently with regular Americans. 

The White House on Saturday released a two-and-a-half-minute video of Biden's long-distance telephone conversation with Michele Voelkert, identifying her only as Michele. 

After losing her job at a startup clothing company in July, she wrote Biden a letter. He read it, then called her. 

The Roseville, California, woman told Biden "it's been a tough time" trying to find work.

Biden, who spoke from his Oval Office desk, replied that his father used to say a job is about dignity and respect as much as it is about a paycheck. He described his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, which calls for $1,400 payments to people like Voelkert, and other economic aid for individuals and small businesses. There's also money to help distribute coronavirus vaccines. 

"I've been saying a long time, the idea that we think we can keep businesses open and moving and thriving without dealing with this pandemic is just a nonstarter," Biden said. 

The Sacramento Bee said it spoke to Voelkert, 47, after the call. "It was the opportunity of the lifetime," she said. "I'm still riding high."

The conversation is part of an effort to help Biden, who has largely limited his travel because of the pandemic, communicate directly with Americans, the White House said. Biden did fly to Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday to spend the weekend at home with his family. 

"There is a time-honored tradition in the country of hearing from the president in this way," press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday in previewing the video. She referenced Franklin D. Roosevelt's "fireside chats" and Ronald Reagan's establishment of a weekly radio address. 

The radio address eventually grew to include a video version seen over the internet. The practice, however, lapsed under former President Donald Trump. 

Biden's weekly address will be produced in a variety of forms, Psaki said. 

Later Saturday, Biden left his home for a regularly scheduled X-ray of his right foot, which he broke in late November while playing with his dog Major. 

Dr. Kevin O'Connor, the president's physician, said in a statement issued by the White House that the "10-week post-injury weight-bearing X-ray" was to make sure Biden had regained stability in his ligaments.

O'Connor later reported that Biden's foot fractures had completely healed.

RELATED

FASANO, Italy — President Joe Biden said Thursday that he will not use his presidential powers to lessen the eventual sentence that his son Hunter will receive for his federal felony conviction on gun crimes.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

1 of 2 Abducted Louisiana Children is Found Dead in Mississippi after Their Mother is Killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said.

ATHENS – Acknowledging disappointing results in the European Parliament elections for New Democracy, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said there won’t be early elections in Greece and dismissed any idea of taking New Democracy further right.

NEW YORK – This year, Leros New York is the standout team in the Premier Division of the Long Island Soccer Football League (LISFL) – and beyond.

ROME - There were multiple triumphs for Greece this week at at the European Athletics Championships in Rome.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The Spanish team for men's soccer at the Paris Olympics got permission Thursday from the IOC to select two players who previously played for other countries.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.