President Biden's town hall focuses on COVID-19 relief, racial inequity
Updated: 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 16, 2021
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- President Joe Biden wrapped up a town hall at Milwaukee's Pabst Theater Tuesday night.
The event was hosted by CNN and moderated by Anderson Cooper.
The president's first Air Force One trip brought him to Milwaukee, where he spoke for just longer than an hour.
Two of the biggest focuses were COVID-19 relief and racial inequity.
The first question President Biden answered in his town hall -- when will vaccines be available for all Americans?
"By the end of July this year," Pres. Biden said. "We came into office, there were only 50 million doses that were available. By the end of July, we'll have more than 600 million doses."
A Milwaukee nurse asked the president about racial disparities in vaccinations and how Biden plans to address them.
Biden says he wants to send vaccines straight to community health centers.
"The health centers, which take care of the toughest of the toughest neighborhoods in terms of illness. They are going to get a million doses a week in how we're going to move forward."
Biden was also asked about the shooting of Jacob Blake in nearby Kenosha and the idea of defunding the police.
"Not defunding the police. We have to put more money in police work so we have legitimate community policing, and we're in a situation where we change the legislation. No one should go to jail for a drug offense."
The president will make his second presidential stop on Thursday, Feb. 18, also in the Midwest, where he will visit a Pfizer facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Posted: 3:44 p.m. on Feb. 16, 2021
Pres. Biden is expected to push his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. The town hall begins at 8 p.m.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said there is added significance to President Biden's Milwaukee visit. It's his first event outside the Washington, D.C. area.
"We’re very proud that he’s chosen Milwaukee, and he’s chosen Wisconsin for his first trip on Air Force One," Mayor Barrett said.
Barrett said the audience size for the event is smaller than the maximum city health rules allow.
"The Pabst Theater has been working with out health department on a formal safety plan. That obviously is at the forefront to make sure the president and everyone who attends the town hall will be safe," said Barrett.
Barrett said you can expect to hear the crowd tell President Biden what they want out of federal COVID relief, and Biden pushing his solution.
President Biden will continue his tour of the Midwest Thursday, Feb. 18, when he visits a Pfizer plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan.