GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — First Lady Jill Biden touched down at Gerald Ford International Airport late Thursday morning, en route to Grand Rapids Community College to highlight the Biden administration’s partnerships with pharmacies and community colleges to make it easier for people to get vaccinated.
“We're getting back to the things that we asked for so long. Hugging the people we love catching up with his friends, face to face and you know seeing our friends and our family smiles and we missed that for so long, and it's because of people, the people who are here today and they're getting vaccinated. And to those people. I want to say thank you,” Biden said.
Biden alongside Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids) and Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss toured a pop-up vaccine clinic at GRCC, while encouraging more people to get their shots.
“The studies are clear, this is all based on science. The vaccine is safe and effective and it saves lives,” Biden said.
The first lady, a lifelong educator and community college professor, says places like GRCC are perfect for pop-up clinics, providing people across communities easy access to a vaccine, while vaccination rates are starting to lag nationwide.
“Community colleges could be very key to getting us up as a country out of this pandemic,” GRCC President Dr. Bill Pink said. “It’s a good thing to have Dr. Biden having that community college background because she understands us, the mission, the work that we do, so it becomes natural in my mind that this would be one of those places that would host something like this,” Pink added.
Biden's Michigan visit comes as the White House continues to push forward to hit its goal of 70% of Americans vaccinated by July 4. Right now, 50% of Americans are fully vaccinated. The first lady said Thursday she believes they will reach that goal.
“I hope that everyone makes a plan to get a shot today and to tell their friends and their family to get a shot, as well. You know we need to help make our communities safe for everyone. And finally, when we all do this, we'll be able to spend this summer the way we should, to spend it together,” Biden said.
Both Biden and Meijer say they are in favor of creative ideas to incentivize more people to get vaccinated, like the $5 million lottery Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine established to help grow stagnant vaccination rates in The Buckeye State.
Michigan is outpacing the national mark, nearing 60% of adults fully vaccinated as of Thursday.