Vice President Kamala Harris was in Newark on Friday to promote vaccines.

Harris toured the vaccination site at Essex County College, one of the first vaccine centers in New Jersey. Essex County was one of the top counties for COVID-19 cases and deaths in New Jersey during this pandemic. At least 105,000 cases and 3,100 deaths have been caused by COVID-19 in the county.

In the City of Newark, officials have seen more than 40,000 cases and 1,054 deaths. Vice President Harris highlighted local efforts to get more Americans vaccinated to help the nation recover fully from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was an honor to welcome Vice President Kamala Harris to our district to help promote vaccinations and tour the vaccination site in Essex County,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. “Essex County has suffered terribly during this global pandemic. But I have been proud of how the county has been quick to get this vaccine site operational and provide vaccines for thousands of residents. I received the vaccine and a booster shot to prevent COVID-19 infections for me and my family. I encourage everyone to get vaccinated, so they can keep themselves and their loved ones safe.”

Payne, Jr. met Harris when she arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport. Then the Vice President visited the Ben Samuels Children’s Center at Montclair State University to discuss the critical need for federal investments in childcare. She ended her trip with a visit to the vaccination center.

Harris, accompanied by Gov. Phil Murphy and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, also made a stop at Tonnie’s Mini’s bakery in Newark before going back to Washington, D.C. The Black-owned bakery closed its doors in 2020 due to the pandemic but was able to re-open and resume business thanks to PPP loan. Reports indicate Harris bought several slices of various cakes and red velvet cupcakes.

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