(WXYZ) — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is heading to Washington D.C. on Friday to meet with President Joe Biden. It's part of a bipartisan meeting with governors and mayors from around the country to talk about the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The meeting comes amid new optimism from the White House on national vaccine efforts. Biden announced Thursday the U.S. is on track to vaccinate 300 million Americans by July, but the White House later walked that back saying it could take a little longer.
Also Thursday, Duggan announced the city of Detroit is expanding its vaccine eligibility. Now, anyone 18 or older with disabilities can get their COVID-19 vaccine shot at the TCF Center, which has been the city's vaccine hub for residents 65 and older, certain essential workers and even restaurant workers.
Duggan also announced that Detroit is getting a big check from FEMA, $18 million, to reimburse the city for its vaccine efforts.
“Anybody whose disability makes them more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, and that means individuals with cerebral palsy, autism, down syndrome, muscular distrophy," Duggan said. Eligibility has also expanded to those who are hearing and vision impaired.
He said he's pleased with the number of people who have moved through the TCF Center so far to get a vaccine, nearly 45,000.
On Thursday, Biden announced national contracts for 100 million doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
"We are also able to move up the delivery dates with an additional 200 million vaccines to the end of July, faster than we expected. And then further good news, both companies agreed, and we're now contractually obligated, to expedite delivery of 100 million doses that were promised by the end of June to deliver them by the end of May. That's a month faster. That means lives will be saved. That means we're now on track to have enough supply for 300 million Americans by the end of July," Biden said.
The White House later said it may take longer, and it comes as Democrats are pushing to get Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package through the House before $300 in weekly pandemic unemployment runs out on March 14.
The package includes $1,400 stimulus payments, help for small businesses, and $350 billion to state and local governments.
Also, starting Friday, three Michigan pharmacies - Rite Aid, Medicine Shoppe and Meijer – will help the CDC get COVID-19 vaccines in arms.