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The Obama Administration: May 1-16, 2010

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The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, has recalled all unexpired lots of seven products in 43 different flavors and sizes: Tylenol Infants' Drops, Children's Tylenol Suspensions, Infants' Motrin Drops, Children's Zyrtec liquids in bottles and Children's Benadryl Allergy liquids. McNeil posted a full list of the recalled product lots at Full Statement Release of McNeil Consumer Healthcare

Day464/May2nd/Sunday: The President traveled to Venice, Louisiana where he surveyed the conditions resulting from the BP April 20, 2010, Deepwater rig explosion and oil spill and the federal response in the Gulf Region. While he toured, the President wondered aloud, "How do we plug this hole?"; then delivered remarks on the enormous scope of the disaster and the ongoing federal commitment. He also spoke about the incident in Time Square, New York and of the ongoing local and federal response. (less info) Transcript Video

The President returned to the White House where, at about 10:45 PM, he was updated on the work by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) in relation to the incident in Times Square. The President commended the quick action by the NYPD and asked John Brennan to communicate to NYPD that the federal government is prepared to provide support. Source

The United States Treasury computers were attacked by a virus that rerouted visitors to other websites that then attempted to install malware on the visitors' personal computers. Source

Day465/May3rd/Monday: The President delivered remarks at the Commander-in- Chief's Trophy Presentation to the United States Naval Academy Football Team in the Rose Garden of the White House. Transcript Video

The President continued for one year former U.S. President George W. Bush's May 11, 2004 Executive Order 13338: the national emergency declared with respect to certain actions of the Government of Syria. "The United States will consider changes in the policies and actions of the Government of Syria in determining whether to continue or terminate this national emergency in the future and would welcome progress by the Government of Syria on these matters," the President decided. Source Statement to the United States Congress

The President declared an emergency existed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local response efforts in the area affected by a water main break beginning on May 1, 2010, and continuing, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts for the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk Counties. Specifically, FEMA was authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance, were made available at 75 percent Federal funding. Source

The President declared a major disaster existed in the State of Alabama and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of April 24-25, 2010., making Federal funding available to affected individuals in DeKalb and Marshall Counties. Assistance was also made available in the form of grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Federal funding was also made available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding in DeKalb and Marshall Counties. Federal funding was also made available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. Source

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The President issued a Presidential Memorandum ordering the establishment of a Task Force on Space Industry Workforce and Economic Development to develop, in collaboration with local stakeholders, an interagency action plan to facilitate economic development strategies and plans along the Space Coast and to provide training and other opportunities for affected aerospace workers so they are equipped to contribute to new developments in America's space program and related industries. The Secretary of Commerce and the Administrator of NASA were designated to serve as Co-Chairs of the Task Force. Source

The President spoke by telephone to Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, expressing his deepest condolences for the tragic loss of life and suffering caused by flooding in their states and pledging the federal government would respond quickly to requests for support as the states work to assess damage and plans for recovery. Source

The President dispatched FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate to Tennessee to view the flood damage first hand and to report back on any unmet needs. Source

The President and Admiral Thad Allen spoke by telephone with local officials including mayors, county supervisors, parish presidents and more from the five states in the Gulf Region. The President voiced his commitment to engaging local governments as critical partners in the response to the BP oil spill and urged these officials to stay in touch with his team. In addition, Admiral Allen described the command structure and encouraged local officials to keep him informed of their questions and concerns. Source

The President was briefed six times throughout the day by John Brennan about the investigation of the attempted Time Square bombing of May 1, 2010, and was notified of the Faisal Shahzad arrest at 12:05 am. Source

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The President telephoned Times Square vendor Duane Jackson to thank him for his vigilance in reporting the suspicious vehicle in Times Square. Source

The President hosted a dinner in the evening for the Business Council in the State Dining Room of the White House.

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson and Department of Energy Secretary Stephen Chu met with BP CEO Tony Hayward and BP American Chairman and President Lamar McKay to discuss ongoing, coordinated response efforts and receive an update on BP's spill mitigation plans for potentially affected Gulf Coast states. From a White House release: "BP is now accepting claims for the Gulf Coast oil spill. Please call BP's helpline at 1-800-440-0858. A BP fact sheet with additional information is available here. For those who have already pursued the BP claims process and are not satisfied with BP's resolution, can call the Coast Guard at 1-800-280-7118. More information about what types of damages are eligible for compensation under the Oil Pollution Act as well as guidance on procedures to seek that compensation can be found here." Source

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Retired, Robert Arend was president of an AFSCME local from 1997-2007.

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