President Joe Biden will have the opportunity to demonstrate his empathic skills on a dual mission visit to Houston on Friday, February 26th. He will investigate damage caused by severe winter weather and encourage people to get their coronavirus vaccinations.
Biden and his wife Jill are traveling to a site of major disaster for the President’s first trip since he took office a little over a month ago. Severe winter weather in the south on Valentine’s Day weekend hit several states. Texas bore the brunt of unusually cold conditions for the time of year, which resulted in widespread power outages, burst pipes, and flooded homes. Millions of people lost heat and running water.
The president is expected to visit the Houston Food Bank and meet with local leaders to discuss the storm, relief efforts, and progress with the recovery. He is accompanied by the Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott.
Biden also plans to visit the federal government-run mass coronavirus vaccination center at NRG Park. Biden commemorated the 50 millionth COVID-19 vaccination since taking office on Thursday, February 25, halfway towards his goal of 100 million vaccinations by his 100th day in office.
That celebration followed a minute’s silence to mark the passage of 500,000 U.S. deaths attributed to the disease earlier this week.
Traffic in the city is hampered as the president and other dignitaries are escorted from point to point. The Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo warned of some roads being blocked.
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The visit also impacts donation processes and volunteer plans at the Houston Food Bank. The organization canceled volunteering and food drop-offs at its East Branch location from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday.
In addition to NRG Park and the Houston Food Bank, the president will also visit the Harris County Emergency Operations Center.
Friday’s visit isn’t Biden’s first trip to Houston. The then Vice President attended the funeral of former President George HW Bush in 2018.
For more on this story, visit our news partner ABC13.