JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When Kevin Munoz was growing up in Jacksonville and attending Episcopal, he said he learned what issues were important to the people in the city.
Now, as the Assistant White House Press Secretary, Munoz said the issues that are important to the people of Jacksonville are also important to President Joe Biden.
“We want better health care. We want a better education system. We want a government that really works for us,” Munoz said. “So it’s exciting to know that that leadership and the values that we have in Jacksonville trickle all the way to the top with the President.”
The main focus of the Biden administration right now is the coronavirus vaccine.
President Biden on Wednesday announced new employer tax credits and other steps to encourage people reluctant to be inoculated to get the COVID-19 vaccine as his administration tries to overcome diminishing demand for the shots. The moves came as Biden celebrated reaching his latest goal of administering 200 million coronavirus doses in his first 100 days in office.
With more than 50% of adults at least partially vaccinated and roughly 28 million vaccine doses being delivered each week, demand has eclipsed supply as the constraining factor to vaccinations in much of the country.
“People have questions and they want to make an informed decision on an individual basis about this vaccine, and that’s what we want to happen at the community level,” Munoz said. “We’re really excited nearly $200 million has gone to the state of Florida. The community-based organizations, people like for local clergy or local community activists can really provide that information and you can have this conversation on an individual basis, but we really just want to make sure that you have the information so you can get this shot. This is our ticket back to normal.”
Munoz also addressed concerns that the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill — which sent direct payments of up to $1,400, extended a $300 per week unemployment insurance supplement — is discouraging some Americans from getting back to work.
“We are excited by the progress that’s been made through the investments in the American Rescue Plan, and there’s more work to come and we’re excited by that,” Munoz said. “The more that we can vaccinate our employees, there’s going to be safer workplaces and there’s going to be more opportunity to get things back to normal and more of our businesses open full time.”
On a personal note, Munoz said he was excited that Vice President Kamala Harris already made a visit to Jacksonville and he hopes there will be more soon.