President Joe Biden to hold CNN town hall in Cincinnati Wednesday


CINCINNATI, Ohio (WDTN) — President Joe Biden will participate in a CNN town hall on Wednesday, July 21 in Cincinnati.

According to our partners at WLWT, CNN reports anchor Don Lemon will moderate the live, internationally broadcasted event that will air at 8 p.m. and “is expected to focus on a wide range of issues facing the nation ranging from COVID-19 to the economy.”

The audience will be invitation-only, and the one-hour event will be live-streamed. It’s Biden’s first visit to Cincinnati since taking office a little more than six months ago.

WLWT and WDTN are working to learn more and will update this story as details become available.

The event comes as the administration has made progress in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic with a strong vaccine rollout, but concerns are rising over the slowing pace of vaccinations in recent weeks. The U.S. now faces an uptick in COVID-19 cases, driven in large part by the highly transmissible Delta variant. The U.S. surgeon general said Sunday that he is worried as pandemic cases have increased in every state.

In the Miami Valley, Public Health said that for the first time in many months, Butler County’s COVID-19 case count has shown an increase when compared to previous weeks. According to a release, the cases over the past 14 days in the county are up 117 percent compared to the previous 14 days. In addition, vaccination rates have slowed significantly.

“News of increases in the Delta variant across the US, Ohio and Butler County are concerning. We are
worried about our citizens who may be vulnerable to this more severe form of COVID. If you, or your loved
ones have not yet gotten vaccinated, now is the time,” said Jennifer Bailer, Health Commissioner for the
Butler County General Health District (BCGHD).

The town hall will come at a critical time in Biden’s presidency as the administration faces a number of congressional hurdles, including immigration, police reform and infrastructure.

The event will take place in the hometown of Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, who was one of the senators who signed on to a bipartisan infrastructure deal with the President last month at the White House and has been making the case for the GOP to work with Biden on key legislative priorities. Portman is a key Republican to watch throughout Biden’s first two years in office as he is retiring at the end of 2022 and could be a potential bipartisan dealmaker.

The event will take place in the traditional battleground state of Ohio, which has often been a key bellwether in presidential elections. The state has a Republican governor, Mike DeWine, who has been a key ally in the fight against COVID-19 for Biden and has joined the President in multiple virtual events promoting COVID-19 vaccines.

Biden won Hamilton County, home to Cincinnati, in the 2020 election — one of just seven Ohio counties he took from former President Donald Trump in that race. Ohio as a state went for Trump 53.3% to 45.2%.

The President has been traveling around the country in recent months selling his infrastructure proposal, often hitting Midwestern cities in key states and districts that will play a key role in both the 2022 and 2024 elections. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley met with Biden last week to advocate for infrastructure assistance across the country. 

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