President Joe Biden will have the opportunity to practice empathy skills on a dual mission during a visit to Houston on Friday, February 26th. He will investigate damage caused by severe winter weather and encourage people to get their coronavirus pictures.
Biden and his wife Jill are traveling to a president’s disaster site for the first time since taking office a little over a month ago. The harsh winter weather in the south on Valentine’s Day weekend hit several states. Texas bore the brunt of the unusually cold conditions, which resulted in widespread power outages, burst pipes, and flooded homes. Millions of people lost heat and running water.
The president is expected to visit the Houston Food Bank and meet with local leaders to discuss the storm, relief efforts, and progress toward recovery. He is said to be accompanied by Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott.
Biden also plans to visit the federal government-run coronavirus mass vaccination center at NRG Park. Biden recalled the 50 millionth COVID-19 vaccination since taking office on Thursday, February 25, halfway towards his goal of 100 million shots by his 100th day in office.
That celebration followed a moment of silence to mark the passage that saw 500,000 U.S. deaths from the disease earlier this week.
Traffic in the city is affected when the president and other dignitaries are escorted from point to point. Art Acevedo, the Houston police chief, warned of some impacts on some roads.
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The visit also impacts donation processes and volunteer plans at the Houston Food Bank. The organization canceled volunteering and dropping off food rides at its East Branch location from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday.
In addition to NRG Park and the Houston Food Bank, the president is also scheduled to tour the Harris County Emergency Operations Center.
Friday’s visit isn’t Biden’s first trip to Houston. The then former Vice President attended the funeral of former President George HW Bush in 2018.
For more information on this story, check out our news partner ABC13.