Biden plans to use NFL stadiums for vaccinations

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GLENDALE, Ariz. (NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris virtually toured a coronavirus vaccination site in Arizona Monday.

The virtual tour of State Farm Stadium, a 24/7 vaccination site in Glendale, happened just hours after White House press secretary Jen Psaki briefed the country.

With the NFL season in the books, the league has offered the use of its stadiums for mass COVID-19 vaccinations.

Biden said on CBS’ Super Bowl pregame show Sunday that his administration intends to take the NFL up on its offer.

“Absolutely we will,” President Biden told Norah O’Donnell. “I’m going to tell my team they’re available and I believe we’ll use them.”

Seven NFL stadiums were already being used as vaccination sites — the Arizona Cardinals’ State Farm Stadium, Atlanta Falcons’ Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Carolina Panthers’ Bank of America Stadium, Baltimore Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium, Houston Texans’ NRG Park, Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium and the New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium — but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to the president earlier in the week offering the remaining 23 stadiums.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has held up the State Farm Stadium as a model for other states trying to establish large vaccination venues. Though some Arizona residents have criticized the online system for trying to get an appointment there.

The Glendale vaccination site is in Maricopa County, which has the second-highest number of confirmed cases in the nation, at more than 487,000. It also has the fifth-highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins. Currently, Maricopa County has recorded nearly 8,000 deaths.

Reuters contributed to this report. Reporting provided in part by Field Level Media.

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