The White House says President Joe Biden on Thursday directed that flags be flown at half-staff on all federal buildings through sunset Monday in honor of the victims of Tuesday’s shootings in the Atlanta area.
Watch the news conference in the video player above.
The move comes on the eve of his planned visit Friday to Atlanta, where he will meet with Asian-American community leaders.
Speaking to reporters at the White House press briefing, press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will look to get their “perspective on the rise in anti-Asian hate incidents,” and talk about their “commitment to combatting zenophobia, intolerance and hate.”
Psaki also commented on the exchange of tough statements this week between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Psaki said Biden did not regret calling Putin “a killer” during a television interview, insisting the president “gave a direct answer to a direct question.”
She said Biden and Putin have known each other for a long time, “they’ve both been on the global stage for a long time, worked through many iterations of a relationship between the United States and Russia. And he believes we can continue to do that.”
The White House also announced it will loan Mexico and Canada four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine as it awaits approval by the Food and Drug administration in the United States.
Psaki said the decision to help Mexico with the vaccine supply were not related to ongoing conversations about stemming the surge of migrants on the southern border.
“There is rarely just one issue you are discussing with any country at one time,” she said.