Joe Biden began his Independence Day with a trip to his hometown church in Wilmington, Delaware.
The president stepped out of St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine on Sunday morning and was pictured walking through the cemetery, where his son Beau Biden is buried.
First Lady Jill Biden, who is usually by her husband’s side for church services, was not pictured this Sunday in Wilmington.
Instead, she was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to attend and speak at the Freedom Celebration Ceremony outside Independence Hall.
Biden spends the majority of his weekends away from Washington in Wilmington, where he is typically seen attending Catholic Mass once – sometimes twice – during his two-day stay.
President Joe Biden, a devout Catholic, spent his Independence Day morning attending mass at St. Joseph on the Brandywine in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware
First Lady Jill Biden has not been pictured with her husband. Instead, she was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania speaking at the Freedom Celebration Ceremony outside Independence Hall.
Biden and First Lady Jill will return to Washington, DC on Sunday afternoon for a White House barbecue with first responders and military families where he will make remarks celebrating “independence from COVID-19”
The first couple will leave Wilmington on Sunday afternoon to return to Washington, DC for a July 4 celebration at the White House.
The president will make remarks to mark Independence Day, but the White House notes that it will also be a speech celebrating “independence from COVID-19.”
“In his remarks tonight, the president will celebrate the progress the country has made in its response to the pandemic,” a White House official said ahead of Biden’s speech.
The official noted that due to the administration’s vaccination efforts, “Americans across the country can celebrate July 4 together.”
“The president will also reflect on the more than 600,000 lives lost to the virus. He will note that although we have made great progress against the virus in the United States, the work is far from over, ”the statement continued.
Essential workers and military families are invited to the July 4 barbecue at the White House ahead of Biden’s remarks – despite concerns about the Delta variant.
“The President will thank the military families and essential workers who attend the event for their sacrifices for our country, especially during the pandemic,” the White House official said.
White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients defended the event to ABC News.
“The White House event is going in the right way,” he said, assuring that it is taking place “in accordance with CDC guidelines.”
Biden and First Lady Jill will then view the annual fireworks display above the National Mall from the White House.
Vice President Kamala Harris is vacationing at her Los Angeles, California home.
The president leaves the service and walks through the cemetery, where his son Beau is buried, to his car
After church, Biden played a round of golf at Wilmington Country Club with former Senator Ted Kaufman. Photos are both leaving the course on July 4, 2021
Before returning to DC, Biden stopped by the Wilmington Country Club for a round of golf with former Senator Ted Kaufman.
Ahead of the holidays, Biden’s administration praised their vaccination campaign and insisted that celebrating July 4 in the traditional way is safe again – as long as everyone attending the festivities received the jab.
However, the United States missed Biden’s goal of getting 160 million Americans fully immunized by the midsummer vacation. He also wanted at least 70% of adults to have received at least one injection by July 4, 2021, a second vaccine target that has not been met.
Zients, who succeeded Dr Deborah Birx, said the failure could be due to young people who were made eligible for the vaccine much later than adults.
He also told ABC This Week on Sunday that this demographic had “felt less vulnerable to the disease.”
“We’ve made a lot of progress,” Zients praised in a separate interview with CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning. “I think we’re a lot further along than anyone would have imagined at this point. “