Second Gentleman Pool Report of June 16, 2021

June 16, 2021

Pool Report by Samuel Hardiman, Memphis Commercial Appeal

Sent: Reports:
June 16, 2021
16:18 CDT

Second Gentleman Memphis visit Pool Report

Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff pushed for the hesitant to get vaccinated at Memphis' Douglass High School Wednesday afternoon. His visit was part of a nationwide tour aimed at boosting COVID-19 vaccination rates.

The second gentleman was also joined by community leaders who implored the crowd of about 75 to tell those they knew without a shot to get one.

Nathaniel Boute, a local pharmacist, spoke about vaccine hesitancy and how he convinced his reluctant parents to get vaccinated by withholding visits from their grandson.

Memphis City Councilwoman Michalyn Easter-Thomas commended President Joe Biden's administration for being intentional about vaccine access.

The second gentleman kicked off a vaccine canvassing event in the Douglass neighborhood of North Memphis. The neighborhood, high school and nearby park are named for famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

"We need to do better. We need to better here," Emhoff said. "We're on a path to a more normal life but we are not there yet."

He noted that he went to the Washington Nationals game Tuesday.

"Why was I able to do that?," Emhoff said "Because I'm vaccinated."

The second gentleman noted the ever-present coronavirus variants, saying that the unvaccinated were putting themselves and those around them at risk.

"I'm going to a site right after this. If you need one, come with," Emhoff said.

Emhoff's visit highlighted the continued efforts of local volunteers. The Shelby County Voter Alliance, a grassroots organization aimed at boosting voter turnout, has been vaccine canvassing throughout the spring and early summer.

The group — typically between a handful and several dozen volunteers — have gone door-to-door with flyers telling residents where and when they can get a vaccine. The voter alliance has canvassed ahead of about 10 pop-up vaccination sites. After the canvassing, the Memphis Fire Department sets up a vaccination site.

The fire department is planning a vaccination event during the Juneteenth celebrations at Douglass Park. The vaccinations will be available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, also visited Memphis in May, touting the American Jobs Plan, an infrastructure bill.

After the event in North Memphis, Emhoff was scheduled to go to the Pipkin vaccination site in Midtown Memphis.

Doug Emhoff, Second Gentleman Pool Report of June 16, 2021 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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