President Joe Biden said Iran could not act with “impunity” and warned Iran to “be careful” after a US airstrike on the site of an Iranian-backed militia in Syria.
Asked by reporters traveling with him to Texas what message he was trying to send to Iran with the airstrike, Biden said, “You cannot act with impunity.”
Biden paused and then added, “be careful.”
The remarks by the US president came as he was examining a uniformed medical team at a public vaccination site in NRG Park, Houston’s main sports venue.
The US military had carried out measurements attacks in eastern Syria used by Iranian-backed militias in response to rocket attacks against US targets in Iraq. The air raid was the first military strike ordered by Biden since he became president.
The strikes drew strong criticism from Syria and Iran. A Pentagon spokesperson said they were “deliberate” and intended to “defuse the general situation in eastern Syria and Iraq.”
Biden had traveled to Texas on Friday with the intention of visiting emergency centers that were dealing with the fallout from a violent winter storm that left millions of people without electricity or clean water for days, and killed at least two dozen.
Speaking at the NRG Park Vaccination Center, Biden said his administration was working to open more such sites to deliver millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Americans.
“We are working with governors across the country to stand up and provide federal support to hundreds of immunization centers, stadiums like here, community centers, places of worship and large parking lots,” Biden said.
Biden and his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, landed in Houston early Friday afternoon, where the President met with Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to discuss the resumption of last week’s storm .
They then proceeded to Houston TranStar, a Department of Transportation center where the Office of Homeland Security and the Harris County Communications Center is located.
– Jen Psaki (@PressSec) February 26, 2021
The disaster was a test of Biden’s commitment to work for all Americans to help unify the country. Abbott initially did not recognize Democrat Biden’s election victory in November over former President Donald Trump. Texas State officials lost a court bid in December to overturn the results, which Trump said were marred by widespread fraud.
While there, Biden and Abbott received a briefing from Bob Fenton, the acting administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), according to reports from Pool
Texas Senator John Cornyn, who was at the Emergency Operations Center, told reporters he was happy to see Biden.
“Governor and Senator Cruz and I have requested a declaration from the federal government that provides access to public and private assistance through FEMA. This is going to be important for our recovery. “
Last week, Abbott asked FEMA and Biden to release a major disaster declaration for all 254 counties in the state.
Biden sign a declaration of emergency on Feb. 20 for 77 counties, adding 31 more on Monday and signaling that he was ready to increase the number.
While much of the rest of the United States has interconnected power systems, allowing electricity to flow across state lines, Texas has long stood out for having its own grid, although it can transfer large quantities of electricity. small amounts of electricity to the eastern United States power grid and Mexico power. Grid.
The historic storm has been a huge challenge to the state’s energy system, with millions of people losing electricity for days. Republican state leaders have been criticized for ignoring warnings that the Texas power grid needs major upgrades to defend against freezes.
Calls for weather protection have grown louder, with members of the Biden administration offering incentives in Texas to modernize its gas lines, power plants and wind turbines.
When asked about the calls, Cornyn told reporters: “We need to listen to whoever has a good idea and try to find ways to prevent this from happening again.”