Jill Biden played offense Tuesday in the fight against COVID-19, teaming up with an NFL Hall of Fame running back to encourage Texans to get vaccinated against the disease.
She was accompanied at Emmett J. Conrad High School by former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith, who used a sports metaphor to make the same point.
“We’re in the fourth quarter, and the game is far from over,” Smith said after the tour as they addressed a group of people who had just been vaccinated.
"The president and I care about the American people and their health," Biden said. "So if you get the shot, then you're protecting yourself and your family and your neighbors, so it's really important."
According to a White House press release, Biden will also visit Houston Tuesday, where Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff will join her at a Houston Astros vaccine event.
The two will travel to Phoenix Wednesday.
The latest news from around North Texas.
The three-city trip is part of a nationwide tour to reach Americans who "still need protection against the virus," a White House press release said.
"We're not stopping until we hit the finish line," Biden said.
Biden and Emhoff will highlight the ease of getting vaccinated and mobilize grassroots vaccine education and outreach efforts.
As of Monday, 57.2% of Americans 18 and older were fully vaccinated, and 66.2% of Americans 18 and older had received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In Texas, just under 50% of people ages 12 and older — the demographic being served at the Dallas high school’s clinic — have been fully protected against the disease caused by the coronavirus, according to state COVID-19 data on the CDC’s website.
The Dallas clinic is open to students 12 years and older, school staff, parents and anyone from the broader Dallas community. The Dallas Independent School District is hosting community vaccine clinics at different high schools daily this week.
Parkland Health & Hospital System is administering the Pfizer vaccine, which requires two doses administered three weeks apart.
As an incentive, anyone getting vaccinated at the high school will receive tickets to the Six Flags Over Texas theme park. They will also be eligible to win prizes, such as airline or concert tickets and gift cards, through a raffle sponsored by Mayor Eric Johnson’s office.
The Republic National Committee issued the following statement Tuesday.
“Texans should remember that Joe Biden’s goal of partially vaccinating 70% of adult Americans by July 4th is nowhere close to being reached. Without President Trump and Republicans' Operation Warp Speed, we’d be even further behind than we are now.”
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