Jun 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

First lady and Fauci visit vaccination clinic in Harlem

Jill Biden and Anthony Fauci tour the Children's National Hospital in Washington, DC, on May 20, 2021.
Jill Biden and Anthony Fauci tour the Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., on May 20. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

First lady Jill Biden and NIAID director Anthony Fauci visited a vaccination clinic at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem on Sunday, ABC 7 reports.

Why it matters: Their visit was intended to draw attention to the importance of getting the coronavirus vaccine at a time when Black and Hispanic Americans are seeing higher rates of COVID-19 cases than white Americans, alongside lagging vaccination rates.

The big picture: The church has been a force for vaccinating its surrounding community. Since opening up its vaccination site in January, it has tested 600,000 people and delivered 12,000 vaccine doses, Calvin Butts, the pastor, told ABC News.

  • During their visit Biden and Fauci met and chatted with several people who were receiving their vaccine shots Sunday afternoon.

What they're saying: "I think it's important for Dr. Biden, First Lady and Dr. Fauci, come to emphasize the importance, especially in the Black and brown community of the church in being the first line of defense against COVID-19," said Butts.

  • "We are the oldest and most trusted institutions in our communities. And so therefore that's why I think Dr. Biden recognizes this I know Dr. Fauci does," he added.

Of note: Around 75 anti-Fauci and anti-vaccination protestors gathered outside the event, per pool reports.

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