Joe Biden

Remarks Prior to a Briefing on Severe Winter Weather

December 22, 2022

Okay, this is going to be brief, folks. The storm—extreme cold weather—you can see it on the map the estimated areas where they're at the—you know, as low as 50 degrees; where it's that dark red, it's below zero. You know, it's dangerous and threatening. This is really a very serious weather alert here. And it goes from Oklahoma all the way to Wyoming, and Wyoming to Maine. And it's of real consequence.

So I encourage everyone—everyone—please heed the local warnings. We've contacted—we've tried to contact 26 Governors so far in affected regions. And go to——for more information.

And I know this is—you know, we—it's like—it's not like a snow day, you know, when you were a kid. This is serious stuff. And my team is prepared to help communities weather this—no pun intended—this storm, this freeze, and—because we need to cope. They need to be able to cope if it's necessary.

I'm going to, shortly, be briefed by both FEMA and the National Weather Service, and we're going to start that briefing. And—but in the meantime, please take this storm extremely seriously. And I don't know whether your bosses will let you, but if you all have travel plans, leave now. Not a joke. I'm sending my staff—my staff, if they have plans to leave on—tomorrow—late tonight or tomorrow, I'm telling them to leave now. They can talk to me on the phone. It's not life and death. But it will be if they don't—if they don't get out, they may not get out.

So, at any rate, thank you all for coming in, and I'm going to do the briefing now. Thank you.

[At this point, several reporters spoke at once. As a White House aide ushered them out of the room, the President spoke as follows.]

Thank you. If I don't see you, merry Christmas.

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:31 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. Joining the President in the Oval Office were Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall and Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Julie Chávez Rodriguez, with National Hurricane Center Director Kenneth Graham and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Bennett Criswell participating via videoconference.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks Prior to a Briefing on Severe Winter Weather Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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