Biden pledges action on patient health, AI initiatives during Bay Area visit

The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) met with President Joe Biden Wednesday presenting policy recommendations on extreme weather, public health workforce, patient safety, and research and development.

Biden announced at the event that he plans to take action this fall on initiatives to improve patient health and safety and move the U.S. forward as an artificial intelligence leader.

"I'm going to take executive action and my administration is going to continue to work with bipartisan legislation. So America leads the way toward responsible AI innovation," said Biden.

The council includes three Bay Area professors. Inez Fung, professor of Atmospheric Science at UC Berkeley, Jon Levin, professor and dean of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and Saul Perlmutter, the 2011 Nobel Laureate in Physics and director of the UC Berkeley Institute for Data Science.

"We had a very good conversation. It was very exciting. I came out totally floating on air," said Fung, "The president understands that it is the major transformation, scientific transformation right now, and he has had meetings to talk about the potential as well as the risks about AI."

Fung said the president had also shown concern for wildfire threats and the need to have more standardized communications equipment across different agencies, updated technology for firefighters, and sufficient training.

Biden then left Nob Hill, heading to a campaign fundraising event with about 20 people in the Seacliff neighborhood hosted by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer.

Then by 4:30 pm, Biden was on to the next stop. He met with about 125 people at the Century Club of California on Franklin Street for another campaign reception hosted by co-founder of Facebook, Andrew McCollum.

"I'm thrilled and so delighted to have connected with him in this space," said Hoang Dao, 23, of Hayward who attended the event wearing a Biden-Harris button and took a photo with the president.

"In the White House, we know they're protecting the rights of our people especially young leaders like myself," said Dao, who added that gun safety was a major concern for him and other Gen Z youth leaders.

"He spoke personally, and he spoke to the heart, and I am supporting him definitely," said Shaune Gbana, who also attended the event, "As an African American business owner I feel he is for all people and that's what I need."

"There were a lot of young people at this event, and they were fired up about the president," said Jeff Bleich, former U.S. ambassador to Australia, "

"I think the thing that resonated most to me is how committed he was about the biggest issues we're facing," said Bleich, "He talked about issues you expect a president to talk about, but his passion really stood out."

After the last fundraiser, his motorcade left for the San Francisco International Airport. Air Force One took off for Phoenix. That's where he'll have one final fundraiser before he returns to Washington, D.C