Joe Biden

Remarks in a Virtual Meeting With Business and Labor Leaders on Legislation To Promote United States Semiconductor Production, Technological Innovation, and Advanced Manufacturing and an Exchange With Reporters

July 25, 2022

National Economic Council Director Brian C. Deese. Hi, Mr. President

The President. How are you?

Director Deese. Good, good. I think we've got everybody here, so over to you to kick us off here.

The President. Okay, here I go.

Thank you all for joining me today for this important and timely discussion. We're here today to talk about the importance of passing the CHIPS for America Act to strengthen our national and economic security. Later today the Senate is going to hold a key vote to advance this critical legislation, God willing, and I'm glad we have an opportunity to hear from the industry and labor leaders about this important topic.

I'm going to turn this over to Brian now to get us started. Brian?

Director Deese. Great, thank you, Mr. President. And we are joined here by members of your economic and national security team, as well as business and labor leaders from across the country. We thought, sir, that we would try to divide this into two categories, the first being the national security implications and the second being the economic security and economic opportunity embedded in this legislation.

And—but we wanted to really try to zero in on both the urgency of acting and of Congress, as you say, acting without delay, hopefully, today and in the coming days, but also the opportunity: the opportunity for the country and for our national security as well.

So, sir, with your permission, we will start on the national security side and, kicking this off, go to Jim Taiclet, the CEO of Lockheed Martin. You've had the opportunity to visit their facility down in Alabama earlier this year.

And, Jim, I was hoping if you could just—for the President and all of us, just give us your sense of the broader national security concern here and also the ways in which semiconductors feed into the strength of our national security industrial base across the country.

Lockheed Martin Corporation Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer James D. Taiclet. Thank you, Brian. Good afternoon, Mr. President.

The President. Good afternoon, Jim.

Mr. Taiclet. We believe a robust, secure supply of microprocessors is essential both to national security and to the health of the defense industrial base in the aerospace industry as a whole.

[At this point, Mr. Taiclet continued his remarks, concluding as follows.]

So it's critical to increase U.S. production and test capacity. There's a couple other reasons it's very important too. One is trust. We've got to have confidence in the security of the hardware itself, that it hasn't been tampered with or degraded when we receive it, to put it into our aircraft, in missiles, satellite, et cetera. Right?

The President. Brian had mentioned that, yes.

Mr. Taiclet. Also, we want to have "Made in the U.S.A." access to the latest cutting-edge technologies to put into the systems that our sailors, marines, airmen, and soldiers are going to be using in our defense.

[Mr. Taiclet continued his remarks, concluding as follows.]

And so, given the long leadtimes for producing a fab and building the factories, it is important and urgent to begin to rebuild U.S. semiconductor chip manufacturing in the U.S.

The President. Jim, I'm glad you mentioned security: to be secure that any part we're putting in a weapons system or a helicopter, or anything we have, that we are assured that no one has been able to tamper with that; that it's made in America and built in America, stockpiled in America. And I think it's really important.

And by the way, I was really impressed with your workers down in Alabama when they went through the plant. I was there for several hours, as you know. And I think they really, really take their work seriously.

And so how does passing this legislation now—how does this make a difference and how—and how does it ensure our systems are going to stay at the leading edge? It's one thing to say there's uninterrupted access—we make it here and build it here in America. But tell me—talk to me a little bit more about how this ensures the systems stay on the leading edge.

Mr. Taiclet. Well, we're moving forward really rapidly, Mr. President, both in sort of physical-world technologies like hypersonics, really advanced space sensors, stealth aircraft like the F-35, et cetera. But we're also inserting what we call 21st-century digital technologies into the system as well. And those are things like 5G, AI, distributed cloud computing. We need the latest in, you know, sub-10 nanometer chips, and we need them to be trustworthy to be able to introduce those kinds of capabilities, you know, again, in service of our, you know, sailors, airmen, guardians, marines, and aviators.

So we've got a lot of emphasis and a lot of importance on those latest technology chips because they are the building blocks of those defense systems of the future.

The President. Am I correct to assume that the more sophisticated systems are going to be coming along, and the more that do—just inevitable—the more the need for reliance on the availability of these high-end computer chips are available to us, made in America, here in America—I mean, is there a correlation there?

Mr. Taiclet. There's a total correlation, Mr. President. You can't conduct, you know, 5G-distributed cloud-computing operations with, you know, legacy technology chips. And we're going to have to stay on the cutting edge of those building blocks, as I mentioned earlier, to be able to deliver that for the country.

So it's really important that we don't cede our leadership in semiconductor technology and, ultimately, manufacturing and test outside the U.S. Because, again, just like the Russians did with natural gas recently in Europe, if China can constrain its own production and distribution of chips to us or they pressure or otherwise inhibit Taiwan from doing so, you have a global market that's going to be upset. It will go beyond the defense industry. But from a national, you know, security perspective, you know, I think this is a really high priority.

The President. Jim, thank you very much. And again, you should be proud of the folks you have down in your factory. I was really impressed with them. They seemed to really—not just they're doing their job, but they seem to be on a mission. I mean, I'm serious. It was great to see. It was great to see.

Anyway, thank you.

Mr. Taiclet. It meant so much for all of them to see you, Mr. President, and show your support. So thanks.

The President. Thank you.

Director Deese. So, Mr. President, I wanted to——

The President. Brian, it's all yours.

Director Deese. Yes. I wanted to ask Deputy Secretary Hicks and Jake both to come in here to put the risks and the threats that Jim is framing up in the broader perspective here. And maybe, Deputy Secretary Hicks, if you could start in sort of talking about the core security risks that you think are in play here when we're talking about semiconductors.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks. Absolutely, Brian. So Jim Taiclet did a great job, I think, laying out the dependency that we have on the defense side, that our military has on advanced microelectronics—whether it's the Javelins we saw down in Alabama or the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that Lockheed Martin puts out to our nuclear weapons forces; and of course, as we look ahead to the future on emerging technologies, just as Jim said—quantum, AI, hypersonics, 5G, 6G, next G—all of that is heavily dependent on ensuring our access to microelectronics.

[Deputy Secretary Hicks continued her remarks, concluding as follows.]

By creating opportunities to onshore microelectronics fabrication, assembly, and testing, the CHIPS-Plus Act helps solve these two important, critical, pressing microelectronics challenges facing our military: both this issue of making sure we have assured access and also making sure that we can have state-of-the-art technology to our warfighters.

Director Deese. Jake.

National Security Adviser Jacob J. Sullivan. Thanks, Brian. And thanks to both Jim and Kath, who I think have really summed up the case very powerfully. So I'll be brief in expanding on why the CHIPS Act is so essential for both our national security and our strategic competitiveness.

[National Security Adviser Sullivan continued his remarks, concluding as follows.]

So, when it comes down to it, there's bipartisan consensus, there's support from business, there's support from labor, there's support from the national security community across the board, and there is support from the American people to pass this legislation now and meet this moment and resolve these vulnerabilities.

Thanks, Brian.

The President. Jake, I'd like to ask you a question, if I can. You've heard me say it a bunch of times the last 15 months or so, and that is: It used to be, 30 years ago or longer, we invested more than 2 percent of our GDP in research—pure research and development. It got down by, I think, 0.7 percent of one—seven-tenths of 1 percent. And China and others have moved precipitously to invest more, particularly China, in research and development—pure research and development.

And you say the second piece of this bill, not the purely defense piece. Elaborate a little more on what that will encourage or what we hope it will encourage; what kind of research and the types of development we're talking about—or are we—in that regard.

National Security Adviser Sullivan. No, absolutely. As I was saying, the—our ability to maintain our innovation edge, to maintain our technology leadership rests on having the necessary inputs like chips, but it also rests on, as you just said, those foundational investments in the industries of the future, investments that are made in basic research on everything from artificial intelligence to quantum computing, to biotechnology, to the future of the internet and the future of telecommunications.

[National Security Adviser Sullivan continued his remarks, concluding as follows.]

And in doing so, it will also help us shape the rules of the road on technology, on these important technologies, in a way that reflects our interests and our values and doesn't let—leave them to be written by a competitor or a challenger of ours who doesn't share the same values we share.

The President. I think that's a really important point. I think the point is that we have—as we've led the world in the past in research and development, generating new technologies—we've been inclined to share it with the rest of the world, not sort of just use it as a economic weapon. We've expanded, and our partners—the democracies of the world—have benefited. And it seems to me this is—this makes up a part of that.

Madam Secretary, can I ask you a question as well? The—you responded to Jim's comments and gave your views on the core security risks at play. What—from your perspective, what is maybe—are you able to prioritize what risks are greater or less—security risk? That's a tough question, because who knows for certain. But—[laughter]—I didn't mean to put you on the spot, but can you sort of weigh them for me a little bit?

Deputy Secretary Hicks. Sure. I think that in today's weapons systems, what we worry about most is the compromise of the supply chain of the chips that are in our existing weapons systems, or as we upgrade, as we always have to do, and put new chips in, those are, as I said, largely dependent on the commercial market for whatever those chips may be.

[Deputy Secretary Hicks continued her remarks, concluding as follows.]

And for that, we need that next-generation, most advanced, most capable microelectronics supply chain to be secure.

The President. That's important. All right. Well, thank you very much.


Director Deese. Yes.

The President. ——back to you.

Director Deese. Thank you, Mr. President. So we're going to pivot here from the national security case, which I think you've heard is both compelling and urgent to the economic security element of this.

And obviously, as we make these investments, our goal is to generate durable economic opportunity here in the United States, and the opportunity there is quite significant. We're going to bring in Geoff and Tom and Mark and Chris into this conversation. But to just frame this up at the beginning, I want to ask Secretary Raimondo to just give us the, sort of, broader perspective here on the economics.

And the—in addition to being tireless on this effort, Secretary Raimondo and the Commerce Department, if passed, will be given principal responsibility for implementing this legislation. So, Madam Secretary, if you could just sort of tee up what you see as the economic context, and then I want to bring in Geoff and Tom and Mark and Chris to this conversation.

Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. Yes, absolutely. Thank you, Brian. Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good to see you. And thank you for convening all of us on this incredibly important topic.

So, look, I think the most important thing Congress can do right now to support America's economy and America's workers and our global competitiveness is to get this CHIPS Act over the finish line and onto your desk this week. It's vital. You know, the CHIPS Act proposes a $52 billion investment in domestic semiconductor production, which will enable us to revitalize our domestic semiconductor manufacturing.

[Secretary Raimondo continued her remarks, concluding as follows.]

And we need Congress to act so we send a clear signal to the world that we're serious about rebuilding our domestic manufacturing industry. It's good for our economy, it's good for our competitiveness, and it's good for American workers.

Director Deese. Thanks. Thanks, Gina. I want to bring, Geoff—you and Tom into this conversation. And maybe I'll start with you, Geoff, that—the Secretary just mentioned it, but some people are actually surprised to understand the health care nexus here. But can you just elaborate a bit on how you see the systemic impact in the health care industry, both on the risk side, but also the opportunity side, when you—when you're thinking about semiconductors and the security of supply of those chips?

Medtronic Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Martha. Sure. Well, first of all, thank you, Mr. President, for including me in this really important conversation. It's a real honor to represent the medical technology industry here.

You know, Brian, as you were saying, you know, one of the most critical aspects of our ability at Medtronic and for the medical technology at large to get lifesaving and innovative medical technology to patients is semiconductors. They are essential components in thousands of medical devices—Secretary Raimondo was referring to—that Americans rely on every day.

Things like instruments that enable surgery or devices that manage chronic conditions, like an insulin pump for a diabetes patient, or a pacemaker for a patient with an irregular heartbeat, or even treating COVID. Right? We manufacture pulse oximeters that measure the oxygenation of the blood, as well as ventilators for those patients that are really sick with COVID.

[Mr. Martha continued his remarks, concluding as follows.]

And we—I could give you thousands of examples like that, where the use of chips inside devices, on the edge, in the cloud, and the advancements in computing power are really being harnessed to change patient care. And in such a profound way, you're improving outcomes, you're improving access, and you're bringing down cost all at the same time.

So that's the exciting part that we want to accelerate, but it's really hard right now, given the semiconductor supply that we're facing.

Director Deese. Thanks. Thanks, Geoff.

Tom, I wonder if you could offer your perspective too. We've heard a lot about the concerns in the transportation sector and engines, but also—both in the today constraints—but also the vision forward to the electrification of the transportation sector as well. We welcome your thoughts here.

Cummins Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Linebarger. Thank you, Brian.

And, Mr. President, it's great to see you so well. Thank you for the opportunity to join this group of thought leaders from Government and industry and labor on the importance particularly of innovation funding for the semiconductor industry.

I think you know Cummins is an over 100-year-old company. We are headquartered in Columbus, Indiana. We have over 25,000 employees in the U.S. And we work together to innovate on power solutions from the industrial sector. It's remarkable how much Geoff and I have in common, with our perspective on semiconductors, from completely different sectors.

[Mr. Linebarger continued his remarks, concluding as follows.]

The way that I think about that is that these—the investments made in the CHIP Act are going to move us from wringing our hands about where we sit in competition with others, to actually moving onto the field and helping U.S. manufacturers compete.

And I think we all know that when U.S. manufacturers compete with the workforce that we have and the capabilities we have, we can win.

Director Deese. Thank you, Tom.

I—Mr. President, with your permission, I would just ask Chris to come in here too.

On that last point, Tom, that you made, I think is very salient that this is a bill that is also about opportunity for Americans, workers, and for the opportunity to build good jobs, good jobs in construction and installation and operations of both the facilities to produce chips themselves and the larger and broader ecosystem.

So, Chris, could you just give us your perspective from the ground of how you're thinking about this bill and where you see the opportunity for American workers?

The President. I can't hear him.

Director Deese. Chris, if you can hear us, I think you're muted.

Communications Workers of America President Christopher M. Shelton. Sorry. Thanks for inviting me here, Mr. President. We're really grateful to be here, because as far as we know, CWA is the only union representing manufacturing workers at a final assembly semiconductor factory in the United States, and we have been strong supporters of the CHIPS Act.

[Mr. Shelton continued his remarks, concluding as follows.]

So this bill is a key part of rebuilding our manufacturing sector as a whole. There's no question that we need a comprehensive approach to compete and to take on China's unfair trade practices. This bill is a great first step in putting that approach together. I hope that Congress sends this bill to your desk, Mr. President, as soon as possible, and continues working to strengthen our competitiveness and create good jobs for American workers.

Thank you.

The President. Thank you, Chris.

Director Deese. Mr. President, we're——

The President. Brian——

Director Deese. We've lost Mark for the time being, so let me turn it back to you, Mr. President, for any questions you have or closing comments here.

The President. Well, I do have a couple of questions for Tom. I'd like to go back to him for a second. You know, Tom, since I took office, there have been a massive investment in electronic vehicles and the EV batteries.

I know Cummins is on the cutting edge of fuel cell and battery electronic technology. These technologies are more—they use more semiconductors. And how's this legislation going to make a difference for you in terms of accelerating your innovation?

And I might add that in the act we passed for infrastructure, we have an awful lot of money for putting in electronic charging stations all throughout America, along our highways and the like and—but that doesn't even count the battery technologies that we need to develop other things.

So talk to me a little bit about the technologies and the use of semiconductors, and why that's likely to increase, and how this is going to affect innovation. Because I know it's a broad question and maybe not a fair——

Mr. Linebarger. It's a great President—it's a great question, Mr. President, and thank you for asking it.

It—the use of semiconductors in cars and trucks and other industrial equipment goes by an exponential scale effect. Every single new range of models, you see an exponential increase in semiconductors. I think that's part of the reason why the industry is so far behind now.

The President. Yes.

Mr. Linebarger. As the demand increased for vehicles, they just didn't do the math right about how many more of these legacy chips we were going to need.

[Mr. Linebarger continued his remarks, concluding as follows.]

And the—of course, the infrastructure bill was a big help there. I think there's also hydrogen that's going to be needed in the semiconductor industry.

The President. Absolutely.

Mr. Linebarger. And we're—we and other companies in the U.S. offer electrolyzers that can provide that hydrogen using green energy, and then we have green hydrogen so we decarbonize the industry significantly as well.

So there are—there's a lot of upsides for us investing here in the U.S. in terms of building out that clean energy portfolio that allows us to lead for decades to come.

The President. Well, I couldn't agree with you more. I—it seems to me that—you know, like, I joke—and I don't joke, because I'm serious when I say it. When I think of climate change, I think jobs. And I think there's so many opportunities that we have. And people, understandably, don't even realize that if we could just get our act together in the Congress, we'd be able to do a heck of a lot more and create literally thousands and thousands and thousands of good-paying jobs.

Let me shift over. I was going to ask Mark as well, but, Chris, thank you for all the support you've been giving to this effort. You know, it was a top priority for me to ensure that incentives for semiconductors have a Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirement. And these semiconductor projects—there are billions of dollars and thousands of construction jobs in each of these sites.

And how are those Davis-Bacon requirements going to make sure that jobs—that those jobs are good jobs? Is there a correlation?

Mr. Shelton. Yes, the Davis-Bacon requirements will make sure that people—you know, that there isn't a race to the bottom; that there'll be an even playing field for the people working in this industry and the people working on building the factories that will build these semiconductors. And you know, Davis-Bacon requirements will make sure that that happens and that, you know, no one will be left behind.

And it will give us really, really good union jobs, mostly, to make sure that the factories are built by union labor and that the manufacturing is done by professional union people who really care about what they're doing and will stay on the job because they're making good wages and have a good job.

The President. [Inaudible]—union labor is that, you know, you are—all the folks working for you essentially have a college degree in the technology that they're working. I mean, you just don't join your union and all of a sudden everything falls in place. You've got to go to school, in effect; you've got to be trained; you've got to be in a position to be able to do what you do better than anybody in the world does it. And so that was the reason why I'm pushing Davis-Bacon.

And you know, some of the facilities that—one that, God willing, will be built very shortly—it was announced a while ago, pending what happens in this legislation now—is one outside of Columbus, Ohio. And it's going to create a whole lot of jobs, about—it's going to create a lot of jobs, but it's also going to create a whole lot of jobs in building the facilities. And it just—it matters a lot, it seems to me.

And I've—and I say to all of you: I think we're a heck of a lot stronger as an economy and more sustainable when we build from the bottom up and the middle out, because when that happens, everyone does well—business does very, very well; the wealthy do very, very well.

And I think we've got a shot as we move down the line here. And this CHIPS bill is an important piece of it to be able to stay in the game and be the most competitive nation in the world. That's what we have to reestablish. We still are in a lot of places, but we've got to do it here.

And—but I don't know. Chris, you were talking about the benefits that workers in the communications and media industry, as well as the importance of manufacturing jobs and the country's supply chain resilience—do you guys talk about that? Do you worry about whether or not that's going to happen? I mean, is that something, you know, you're sitting around, that your guys actually discuss, in practical terms?

Mr. Shelton. We talk about it every day, Mr. President, because we see what's happening. We see that lots of industries that—as some of the CEOs said, lots of them can't build or make whatever it is they make because they can't get semiconductors, for instance.

And that, you know, when it's another country making these things instead of good American workers, they can always stop, and they do stop, and we see this happening every day. And we—you know, we worry about what's going to happen to this country if nothing is ever made here again. If we don't make it here, we can't be sure that, A, it works; and that, B, we're going to be able to use it.

The President. Well, we've actually increased manufacturing, thank God, even though we've missed opportunities. But we've increased manufacturing here at home.

And look, I want to thank everyone for joining today's meeting. I know I've kept you a long time here. But the CHIPS Act, in my view, is going to advance the Nation's competitiveness and our technological edge.

You know, we've been working closely with the Senate and the House to finalize a strong bipartisan bill. Congress must pass this bill as soon as possible so we can get it to my desk so we can sign it and get moving. I know we just talked about it, but for the folks at home, let me explain why this is so urgent.

First, there's an economic imperative. As we just heard, this bill is going to supercharge our efforts to make semiconductors—those tiny chips the size of a fingerprint, which is—you know, some are larger, but the size of a fingerprint—that power our everyday lives in America. You know, they're the building blocks for the modern economy, powering everything from smartphones, to dishwashers, to automobiles. I could go on.

America invented semiconductors, but over the years, we let the manufacturing of those semiconductors get sent overseas. And we saw that, during the pandemic, when our factories overseas that make these chips shut down because of in the case of—COVID was a big reason for it—the global economy basically comes to a halt, driving up the costs for families all around the world, but particularly here at home.

One-third of the core inflation last year in 2021—one-third of it—was due to the high price of automobiles. You know why? It was driven—that's driven by the inability to manufacture more automobiles. Why? The shortage of semiconductors. One-third.

And even as we had that historic job growth and economic growth last year, we sacrificed $240 billion in additional economic activity because of the chips shortage. So, for the sake of the economy and jobs, we have to make these semiconductors here at home—at home.

Second, there is a national—as you heard, there's a national security imperative, as Deputy Defense Secretary Hicks and Jake Sullivan pointed out. Semiconductors also power our weapons systems.

And, Jim, earlier this year, I went down to Lockheed's factory, as I said, in Alabama, where they're making the Javelin missile that we're supplying to Ukraine to defend themselves against Putin's unprovoked war.

It's a crystal clear to me that we need these semiconductors—crystal clear, guys; all you have to do is be there and talk to the workers—not only for these Javelin missiles, but also for the weapons systems of the future that are going to even be more reliant on advanced chips.

Unfortunately, we're not producing enough of them. Taiwan produces 90 percent of the leading-edge chips; we produce zero. China is moving ahead of us in manufacturing these sophisticated chips as well. As we watched the U.S. production of these chips decline from 40 percent of global production to 12 percent, at the same time, we watched China go from 2 percent to 16 percent.

And China's goal, as recently stated, is 25 percent. They need to produce 25 percent to become fully self-sufficient. It's no wonder that China is watching this bill so closely and actively lobbying U.S. businesses against the bill. America invented the semiconductor; it's time to bring it home. Doesn't mean others can't do it. It's time we bring it home for all that we need for our security and our economic growth.

Third, it's just not me signaling the—signaling an urgency here. Listen to the business leaders here today and across the country. They're making decisions right now about where to invest and ramp up production of these semiconductors. Are they going to invest in China, India, Japan, South Korea, the European Union?

They're all making historic investments in the tens of billions of dollars to attract businesses to come to their countries—the countries I just named—to produce these chips. The United States has to lead the world in the production of these chips for our own safety's sake, as well as our economic growth.

Let me be clear: This bill is not about handing out a blank check to companies. Commerce Secretary Raimondo, who will be overseeing the key investments of this bill, explained how she's laser-focused on the guardrails that will protect taxpayers' dollars and the interests of the American workers, small businesses, and the communities in which they reside. And the bill will require that I personally have to sign off on the biggest grants before they can be dispersed. It's not sufficient. I've got to sign off on the big ones.

Secretary Raimondo will have the power that if companies don't meet the commitments and that are—that are required to meet by—in this bill, she can take back the money. This includes the requirement on the construction of these semiconductor facilities to pay Davis-Bacon prevailing wage, which will ensure that tens of thousands of new construction jobs are good-paying union jobs and the facility is the best built in the world.

And we're not allowing—you know, we're not going to allow companies to use these funds to buy back stock or issue dividends, but to invest. And finally, this bill is about more than just semiconductors. It authorizes significant investment in American science and technology, which I mentioned earlier.

We have a need to power our economy and national security for the decades to come. We make those decisions now. And the bill has requirements that when we use taxpayer dollars to fund research and development, the companies who get those funds have to deploy that technology that comes from that R&D and the manufacturing of it right here in America. They get the money, they invest, they find a way, they find an answer. They have to invest in America, in a facility here in America.

You know, we'll—we're going to both invent in America and make it in America. And we're going to make sure that we include all of America, tapping into the greatest competitive advantage—our diversity and talented workforce—making sure technologies of the future don't only benefit wealthy shareholders or—[inaudible]—but support technology hubs all across America, including historic investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities and minority-serving institutions, which have the capacity to do so much more given the opportunity.

Look, I know we could go on for a long time—and I'll be back to you, God willing—but I want to thank you again for joining me today and for the work in getting this bill to this point. So we're close. We're close. So let's get it done. So much depends on it.

And thank you all for helping today. I truly appreciate it.

The President's Health Following His Positive COVID-19 Screening

Q. Mr. President, how are you feeling with COVID?

The President. I'm feeling great, even though I've had 2 full nights of sleep all the way through. Matter of fact, my dog had to wake me up this morning. My wife's not here. She usually takes him out in the morning while I'm upstairs working out. And so I felt this nuzzle of my dog's nose against my chest about 5 minutes to 7.

So—no, but it is—I'm feeling good. My voice is still raspy. I've had—every morning and every afternoon—I mean, excuse me, every evening, I get a full-blown series of tests—everything from temperature, to oxygenation—the oxygen in my—in my blood, to my pulse, to—I mean, just across the board. And so far, everything is good. I mean, everything is on the button.

And so I'm feeling better every day. I still have this—a little bit of a sore throat and a little bit of a cough, but it's changing significantly. It's now up in the upper part of my throat. Actually, it's more around my nose than anywhere else.

And—but they tell me that's par for the course. And I think I'm on my way to a full, total recovery, God willing.

Q. Mr. President, but when do you——

Q. How bored have you been?

The President's Work Schedule

Q. ——when do you think you'll be to work in person, Mr. President?

The President. Well, I hope I'm back to work in person by the end of this week. But I'm—as you know, I've been keeping a full schedule. I mean, I've done four major events today. And I'm—you know, I've—and I didn't start today until 9:30, but—and I'll finish today probably by—what time is it now? I'll finish about 6:30. But—so I'm not keeping the same hours. But I'm—you know, I'm meeting all my requirements that's come before me, and we're making decisions on a whole range of other topics as well.

China-U.S. Relations

Q. Mr. President, will you speak with President Xi of China this week?

The President. That's my expectation, but I'll let you know when that gets set up. Okay? I promise I'll let you know. It will not be a surprise.

National Economy

Q. And, Mr. President, we're getting GDP numbers on Thursday. How worried should Americans be that we could be in a recession?

The President. We're not going to be in a recession. And in my view, we are—the employment rate is still one of the lowest we've had in history; it's in the 3.6 area. We still find ourselves with people investing.

My hope is, we go from this rapid growth to a steady growth. And so I'll see—we'll see some coming down. But I don't think we're going to—God willing, I don't think we're going to see a recession.

Thank you all so very, very much.

Q. Feel better.

The President. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 3:01 p.m. via videoconference from the Treaty Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Mark McManus, general president, United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada; and President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of Russia. Director Deese, Deputy Secretary Hicks, National Security Adviser Sullivan, and Secretary Raimondo attended the meeting in the South Court Auditorium of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building; Mr. Taiclet, Mr. Martha, Mr. Linebarger, Mr. Shelton, and Mr. McManus participated via videoconference. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on July 26.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks in a Virtual Meeting With Business and Labor Leaders on Legislation To Promote United States Semiconductor Production, Technological Innovation, and Advanced Manufacturing and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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