MILWAUKEE — President Joe Biden's first trip as Commander in Chief will be to Milwaukee. TMJ4'S Charles Benson talked with White House Deputy Communications Director Kate Berner about the visit and town hall meeting.
Benson: "He had a chance to go anywhere on his first trip, but he has chosen Milwaukee - was there anything specific or unique about Milwaukee?"
Berner: "Look, I think it's important, the president wants to travel out into the country to hear directly from voters."
The last time Joe Biden was in Milwaukee - he was a presidential candidate.
His return comes less than one month after being sworn in as president to talk about the economy, pandemic, and vaccines.
Benson: "What would the President say to people who are saying: I still can't get the shot - it's difficult to navigate through the system?"
Berner: "I think he'd say we understand. He is pushing the team to work as fast as they can to increase the pace of vaccinations."
The Biden Administration has purchased an additional 200 million vaccine doses and increased supplies to states.
But disparities exist In Wisconsin. State numbers show 11.5 percent of white people have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared to just 3.3 percent of Black people.
"We're increasing the number of places - where you can get the vaccine," said Berner. "So pharmacies and community centers in Milwaukee and across Wisconsin will start getting it directly and if you are eligible, you can get your vaccine there.
Benson: "Is there something specific the president feels needs to be done to get those vaccines into communities of color?"
Berner: "It's a huge focus of the president and the teams. We are going to be aggressive in attacking vaccine hesitancy and making sure vaccines themselves are getting to communities of color."
State Republicans think the president's first visit should be about jobs and schools.
"President Biden should only visit Wisconsin if he plans to announce that he is reversing his job-crushing cancellation of the Keystone pipeline," said GOP spokesperson Anna Kelly, "and calling for schools to follow the science and actually reopen."