PORTAGE, Mich. – Friday was a big day for Michigan as President Joe Biden toured the Pfizer manufacturing facility in Portage.
“I came here because I want the American people to understand the extraordinary work that’s being done to undertake the most difficult operational challenges this nation has ever faced,” Biden said.
Biden witnessed firsthand the 1,300-acre manufacturing site with about 350 ultra-cold freezers holding millions of COVID vaccine doses getting boxed and sent out the door. Alongside him was Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“To highlight Portage, Michigan, where Pfizer vaccines are rolling, now we’ve been the epicenter of hope,” Whitmer said. “It’s a source of real pride and should be for every Michigander. The world is counting on us, and to be able to host the president of the United States to highlight the work that is happening for him, to be able to address the nation from Portage, Michigan, was a good thing for all of us.”
Whitmer said more vaccines will be available in the coming weeks, but it will take time.
“Every Michigander who wants a vaccine will get a vaccine,” she said. “They have acknowledged that they’ll have 120 million shots more by the end of March, 200 million by the end of May, and another 100 million after that by the end of July, so that tells us that there are more vaccines coming.”
Whitmer also mentioned that she is positive that Biden will work on getting kids back in school, getting people back to work and most importantly getting more vaccines in Michigan.
Joe Biden will use his first big presidential moment on the global stage at Friday’s Group of Seven meeting of world leaders to announce that the U.S. will soon begin releasing $4 billion for an international effort to bolster the purchase and distribution of coronavirus vaccine to poor nations, White House officials said.
Biden will also encourage G-7 partners to make good on their pledges to COVAX, an initiative by the World Health Organization to improve access to vaccines, according to a senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to preview Biden’s announcement.
Former President Donald Trump declined to participate in the COVAX initiative because of its ties to WHO, the Geneva-based agency that Trump accused of covering up China’s missteps in handling the virus at the start of the public health crisis. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the WHO, but Biden moved quickly after his inauguration last month to rejoin and confirmed that the U.S. would contribute to COVAX.