Parents across America are united by a common dream: their children’s lives will be healthier, happier, and more hopeful than their own. On Child Health Day, we recommit to making that dream a reality and we recommit to providing every child with the health care, childcare and education of quality it needs to thrive.
Supporting our children is above all ensuring their safety. The devastating truth is that guns are currently the number one cause of death among children in the United States. That’s not acceptable, and that’s why I signed the first major bipartisan law in nearly 30 years to keep guns out of the hands of people who pose a danger to themselves and others. protecting innocent children from rampant gun violence – especially in schools. This is just the beginning; I will continue to push for an assault weapons ban that will limit access to these dangerous weapons on American streets and in our communities. No child should have to live in fear.
At the same time, no parent should have to stay up at night wondering how they are going to pay for the treatment or hospital care their child needs. Thanks to the US bailout and other key initiatives of my administration, one million children have received health care coverage since I took office. My Cut Inflation Act will also cut health insurance premiums for 13 million Americans. To give hard-working parents more leeway during the pandemic, I expanded the Child Tax Credit – a measure that would have helped reduce child poverty by more than 40% last year. This money has changed the lives of families who too often have to choose between a salary and taking care of themselves and their loved ones. Additionally, in September, I convened the first White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in more than 50 years, at which we released a national strategy to create a pathway to school meals. free and healthy meals for all children – starting with expanding free school meals to 9 million more children by 2032.
My administration’s efforts to address the national mental health crisis, particularly among our nation’s youth, builds on these important measures. Today, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 10 to 24, and in recent years mental health emergencies have increased among young people of all ages. In response, my administration is making it easier for children across America to access mental health specialists through their pediatricians’ offices. We help fight the harms of social media use on youth mental health and invest billions of dollars to expand access to mental health services and professionals in schools. We also educate states on ways to leverage all federal resources, including Medicaid, to improve health care delivery in schools. Already, we are making progress. By July, the number of school social workers had increased by 54% compared to the years before the pandemic. During the same period, the number of counselors increased by 22% and the number of school nurses also increased by 22%.
To protect our children from the COVID-19 pandemic, my administration has deployed vaccines for children 6 months and older, helping to ensure that children and infants can be safer in all public spaces, including classrooms and daycares. We provide affordable high-speed Internet access to all Americans so students no longer have to sit in fast-food parking lots just to use Wi-Fi to do their homework. I got funding to help replace every lead pipe in the nation so no one has to guess what quality of water their child is drinking. The Cut Inflation Act will also replace thousands of diesel school buses with electric ones, saving our children from inhaling dangerous fumes.
I know that there is still a lot of work to be done to build a future worthy of the hopes and dreams of our children. We must ensure free, high-quality preschool for every American child and further reduce health care costs for American families. I continue to call for tax breaks for middle-class parents and new laws that protect our children from violence in school and at home. I will do everything in my power to fight the climate crisis and pass on a healthier planet to future generations. To win the competition for the future, we must continue to build a healthier and safer nation for our children. Our families and our country depend on it.
Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 18, 1928, as amended (36 U.S.C. 105), called for the designation of the first Monday in October as Child Health Day and directed the President to issue a proclamation on this day. .
THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Monday, 3 October 2022, as Child Health Day. I call on families, child health professionals, faith and community organizations, and governments to help ensure America’s children stay safe and healthy.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have signed this thirtieth day of September in the year of grace two thousand and twenty-two and of the independence of the United States of America on the two hundred and forty-seventh.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.