Peters: Biden’s visit to Pfizer demonstrates pandemic focus

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — President Joe Biden will be in West Michigan this week, making his first trip to the state since taking office.

The trip was originally planned for Thursday has been rescheduled for Friday due to inclement weather expected in the Washington area.

It’s a symbolic visit to the Pfizer facility in Portage, which has been manufacturing the first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for use in the United States.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, said the trip speaks to Biden’s priorities.

“I think it really demonstrates just how focused President Biden is on dealing with the pandemic,” Peters said. “We understand that there is a lot that we need to do in the country, a lot of issues that we need to grapple with, but first and foremost we’ve got to get through this pandemic. And to have him come in to Michigan to the place that is manufacturing the vaccine, and certainly as Michiganders, we take great pride that the vaccine that will help get us through this pandemic is manufactured right her in Michigan just outside of Kalamazoo.”

He said he was sure Biden would want to thank Pfizer workers.

“The President is super excited to travel to Kalamazoo, Michigan … to visit the Pfizer Manufacturing plant,” White House deputy communications director Kate Berner said. “He’s going to meet with workers who are manufacturing this lifesaving vaccine, so excited to see the workers that are doing the work and getting this vaccine created so we can distribute to states and get those shots in people’s arms. And, you know, the administration has been working closely with Pfizer to increase their vaccine supply. We know we still have more people who want and need to get the vaccine than we have supply.”

The White House has still not released information about when the president will arrive in Michigan or whether he’ll deliver any remarks at Pfizer. The event is being handled by pooled press, meaning that only a few cameras and reporters traveling with the president will be allowed to cover it.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, asked Wednesday about the visit, said she too had little information she could share.

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