President Joe Biden will make his first presidential visit to Chicago next week “to highlight the importance of COVID-19 vaccine requirements for businesses,” the White House says.
The president will visit a local business. Details were not immediately available.
“I’m excited and thrilled that the president will be coming here to Chicago,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a news conference today, where she announced a city goal to have at least 77% of Chicagoans receive their first COVID shot before the end of the year. There are 77 community areas in Chicago. See the latest COVID data for the city and state in the charts below.
“We’re just in early stages of those conversations, so I don’t have much to report at this point,” Lightfoot said of Biden’s visit. “The outreach began a few days ago. We’re hoping that he actually will come, but as you know, world events can lead things in a different directions.”
Earlier this month Biden said he’ll order all executive branch employees, federal contractors and millions of health care workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, and that his administration will issues rules requiring large private employers to mandate shots or testing.
The visit also comes as local businesses still grapple with vaccine mandates for employees and patrons. Though Lightfoot mandated city employees be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15, she has not yet reached an agreement with local unions to meet that deadline, with the biggest pushback coming from unions representing officers with the Chicago Police Department.
Biden visited the suburbs in July to pitch his infrastructure plans for families and education at McHenry County College, shaking hands with local leaders—including Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle—on the tarmac at O’Hare International Airport.