Jill Biden, wife of then-Vice President Joe Biden, stops to visit military families at the Utah National Guard base in Salt Lake City July 10, 2012. Jill Biden will celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Salt Lake City on Wednesday by thanking front-line workers at a west side middle school and encouraging Utahns, especially the Hispanic community, to get the COVID-19 vaccination. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
First lady Jill Biden will celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Salt Lake City on Wednesday by thanking front-line workers at a west side middle school and encouraging Utahns, especially the Hispanic community, to get the COVID-19 vaccination.
“This is a tour for appreciation and gratitude,” said Scott Howell, a former Democratic Utah Senate leader and surrogate for President Joe Biden.
Jill Biden plans to visit Glendale Middle School where she will thank health care workers, teachers, custodians, lunch workers, information technology workers and others for their diligence and hard work during the pandemic, Howell said.
Wednesday is an online learning day for students at Glendale, so she won’t see them in their regular classrooms. But there will be some students on hand.
“She’ll get to see some after-school clubs and she’ll get to meet with some of the students who participate in some of those activities,” Yándary Chatwin, the district’s communications director, told KSL Newsradio.
After the school visit, Biden will go to Jordan Park where Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County and Comunidades Unidas will host a pop-up vaccination clinic for Latino residents.
Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, who helped organize the event, said the goal is to vaccinate 100 to 200 people who have made appointments through Comunidades Unidas, though walk-ups won’t be turned away.
When national political figures come to Utah, they rarely venture out to Salt Lake City’s west side, she said.
“I’m just excited that she’s going to visit the neighborhood,” said Romero, whose Utah House district includes the park and the school.
Biden’s visit, she said, is focused on people.
“For me, this is a message from the first lady that she cares about everybody and that she wants to ensure that everyone has a voice,” Romero said. “It’s not about meeting with elected officials. It’s about getting to know people who have been on the front line during COVID, whether it’s a community health worker or whether it’s a teacher.”
“It really is to encourage Hispanics to get vaccinated as well as every other individual in our state,” Howell said.
Minority communities across the country and in Utah are lagging behind in getting the vaccine.
In Utah, 20.3% of the state’s Hispanic or Latino and 14.1% of the Black populations are fully vaccinated, according to the Utah Department of Health. Just under 50% of white Utahns are fully vaccinated.
Republican Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and first lady Abby Cox are scheduled to greet Biden at the airport. Abby Cox will travel with her to the school.
Biden has visited Utah several times, including in January 2020 to meet with Democratic donors during her husband’s presidential campaign.
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Source:: Deseret News – Utah News
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