DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Marcia Fudge, visited Dayton Friday.
This was part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to encourage more vaccinations across the country. Although Biden’s goal of 70 percent of Americans vaccinated by July 4 likely won’t be met, already more than 54 percent of Americans have at least one dose of the vaccine.
“Even if we don’t reach 70 percent of everybody being vaccinated, I need you to keep fighting…” said Fudge.
Friday, Secretary Fudge was joined by Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-3) and other Dayton leaders for a vaccine rally at the Sugarcreek vaccine clinic.
” I grew up right across the street,” said Congresswoman Beatty. “I grew up in this community and this [is] the spot that sent help to the Black community.”
Montgomery County leads other counties in the state in minority vaccination rates. During the press conference, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley applauded Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County for allocating 25 percent of vaccines for the minority community when doses first became available.
Now, demand has slowed as most eligible people have either started or finished the vaccination process. But Secretary Fudge says there is still a lot of work to be done.
“We need to find out what people’s hesitancy is and try to address [that] … let’s find out what the problem is,” said Fudge. “So I’m happy to talk to anybody who says they don’t want to get the shot.”
Fudge says now, the focus is on getting more young people vaccinated as many more are turning up in the hospital with complications from COVID.
Those who attended the event were treated to a musical performance by Shirley Murdock, R&B singer and songwriter from Dayton. Many say they were there to support Fudge and Beatty who have long been supporters of Ohio and the cities that they’re from .
“It was great and awesome to see them back here in Dayton to get everybody out, especially since this is their hometown,” said Angel Martin who was attending the event. “So it was very encouraging and inspiring.”
Beatty and Fudge traveled to visit Columbus on Friday and will visit Cleveland on Sunday.