The event comes as the government has made headway in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic with a strong vaccine roll-out, but concerns about the vaccination pace slowdown have been growing in recent weeks. The US is now facing an increase in Covid-19 cases, which is largely driven by the highly transferable Delta variant. Forty-five states are seeing spikes in new cases – the vast majority among unvaccinated people – and the daily number of people who receive full vaccination has declined 84% since mid-April, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
City Hall will come at a critical time in Biden’s presidency as the government faces a number of congressional hurdles, including immigration, police reform and infrastructure.
The event will be in the hometown of Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican who was one of the Senators who signed a bipartisan infrastructure contract with the President last month at the White House and who stood up for the GOP. have started working with Biden on key legislative priorities. Portman is a major Republican to watch during Biden’s first two years in office as he will retire in late 2022 and could be a potential bipartisan dealmaker.
The event takes place in the traditional battlefield state of Ohio, which has often played a key role in presidential elections. The state has a Republican governor, Mike DeWine, who has been a key ally for Biden in the fight against Covid and who has joined the president in several virtual events promoting Covid-19 vaccines.
Biden won the 2020 election in Hamilton County, home of Cincinnati – one of only seven Ohio counties he won from former President Donald Trump in that race. Ohio as a state went from 53.3% to 45.2% for Trump.
The president has been touring the country in the past few months selling his infrastructure proposal, frequently meeting with Midwestern cities in key states and counties that will play a key role in both the 2022 and 2024 elections. The president has gone to these areas to promote his Blue Collar Blueprint for America, trying to reach voters who may have switched to Trump in previous elections but traditionally voted for Democrats.
A CNN spokesman said town hall would have an invitation-only audience and the network would follow all local and state Covid-19 guidelines and regulations to ensure a safe event. Details on the location will be announced, the spokesman added.
The one-hour event will be broadcast live on the CNN.com homepage and on mobile devices via the CNN apps for iOS and Android with a login to a cable provider. It can also be viewed on CNNgo (at CNN.com/go on your desktop, smartphone, and iPad, and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, Chromecast, Roku, and Samsung Smart TV). The special will also be available to subscribers upon request via cable / satellite systems, CNNgo platforms and CNN mobile apps.