Second Gentleman back in Memphis encouraging vaccine participation

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 11:08 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The second gentleman of the United States is back.

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff visited Memphis Wednesday for the second time in a month and a half. This time, he was in the city to encourage more vaccine participation in the Mid-South.

“Memphis, I am back,” Emhoff said.

Memphis can leave impressions on its visitors. That was clear as Emhoff walked into the Bluff City in his blue suede shoes, a gift from wife Vice President Kamala Harris by the way. This time Emhoff is hoping to leave an impression on Memphians.

“I wanted to come back here and thank what you’re doing on the front lines to promote what is saving lives, what’s enabling us to be outside like this, what’s enabling you to protect yourself and your loved ones and that’s vaccinations,” Emhoff said.

As part of a month-long campaign, members of the Biden Administration are touring the south, promoting vaccine participation. Biden set a goal of 70 percent of the country vaccinated by the Fourth of July. Right now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) records about half of Americans are vaccinated.

While visiting Douglass High School Wednesday afternoon, Emhoff helped kick off a local canvassing event of the community by the Shelby County Voter Alliance and The Time is Now Douglass Redevelopment Corporation.

Emhoff says these local events will have the most impact.

“I can say it but when you have leaders in the community, trusted people in the community, the church, the school, the barbershop, the pharmacist the doctor, and they’re out talking to their community saying I got the vaccine,” Emhoff said.

More than 1,300 people a day are getting vaccinated in Shelby County. That means about 53 percent of the county’s vaccine goal has been met. To reach herd immunity, Shelby County needs to have about 700,000 of its residents vaccinated.

Several public vaccination sites have closed or are getting ready to close in Shelby County, but the Pipkin Building will remain open for vaccinations through July. It’s where Emhoff wrapped up his Memphis visit and got a first hand look at how vaccination efforts are going in the Mid-South Wednesday.

The Pipkin Building is one of about 100 public and private locations to get the vaccine in Shelby County.

“We have to go get vaccinated. That’s why the president set the marker of 70 percent by July 4, that’s why I’m here,” Emhoff said.

In the Douglass neighborhood, there will be a vaccination event Friday during the Juneteenth event at Douglass Park. You can go get your shot without an appointment there from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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