President Joe Biden set to visit Traverse City on Saturday
Washington — President Joe Biden will visit Traverse City on Saturday to "celebrate our country's progress against the virus," the White House announced Monday.
Biden will be joined by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as part of a nationwide tour related to recovery from the coronavirus.
The goal of the tour is to encourage unvaccinated Americans to get a vaccine, according to the Traverse City Record Eagle, which broke the news Monday of the president's visit.
The White House told The Detroit News via email that it would provide more details about what the president and Whitmer will do while in Traverse City on Friday.
Vice President Kamala Harris was to make a similar trip to Detroit on Monday to encourage vaccinations, but that visit was postponed after major flooding in the city over the weekend.
Biden's trip comes after the White House acknowledged last week that it would likely to miss its goal of partially vaccinating at least 70% of U.S. adults by the Fourth of July. Instead, the country will probably hit 70% of vaccinations for Americans age 27 and older by Sunday.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have met Biden's goal of 70% partially vaccinated, but Michigan is not among that group.
Michigan has vaccinated about 61% of its adults over age 16 with at least one dose of vaccine through Friday and last week lifted statewide restrictions on gatherings and mask wearing. Fifty-two percent are fully vaccinated in Michigan.
Biden was last in Michigan on May 18, when he visited a Ford Motor Co. truck plant in Dearborn and took a spin in the electric F-150 Lightning.
First lady Jill Biden also traveled to Michigan this month, speaking at a pop-up vaccine clinic at Grand Rapids Community College's DeVos campus.
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona also came to Michigan this month, stopping at community colleges in Dearborn and Warren to encourage young people to get the COVID-19 vaccine and highlight the Biden administration's effort to provide two years of free college.