March 17th, 2011
05:54 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama said Thursday the United States was using all “available resources” to protect American citizens in Japan, and sought to reassure a weary American public that the nuclear crisis unfolding in Japan currently poses no threat to the United States.
“We do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the United States, whether it’s the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska, or U.S. territories in the Pacific,” Obama said in an afternoon statement in the White House Rose Garden. He repeated the line verbatim to stress his point.
Leading public health experts, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not recommend U.S. citizens do anything more than stay informed the president said, but “we will continue to keep the American people fully updated – because I believe you must know what I know as president.”
Obama also said he had directed a comprehensive review of the safety of the nuclear plants in the United States in light of the events in Japan “to ensure the safety and security of our people.” The president did not retreat from his support of nuclear energy. “Nuclear power is also an important part of our own energy future, along with renewable sources like wind, solar, natural gas and clean coal,” he said.
Efforts to assist the Japanese people from flight missions to support recovery efforts, the distribution of thousands of pounds of food and water to the Japanese people, to sending some of the leading experts to help contain the damage at Japan’s nuclear reactors are ongoing Obama said. “We’re sharing with them the expertise, equipment, and technology so that the courageous responders on the scene have the benefit of American teamwork and support,” he said.
Obama said the U.S. will continue to do everything it can to assure the safety of its citizens in Japan, the security of it’s sources of energy, and would stand with the people of Japan. “I am confident that Japan will recover and rebuild because of the strength and spirit of the Japanese people,” Obama said.