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President Biden, Gov. Northam Update On Vaccinations

Governor Northam speaking with President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden listens as Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam speaks at Sportrock Climbing Centers Friday in Alexandria, Va. Jacob Bosley, 17, a student at Lake Braddock High School in Fairfax County, Va., listens at right. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Helen Barrington contributed to this story. 

President Joe Biden appeared with Gov. Ralph Northam at an event in Alexandria on Friday, to talk about progress with reopening and vaccinations.

This comes on the morning Virginia lifted all pandemic restrictions on capacity and distancing in public and private establishments, including restaurants, businesses and offices.

These changes come ahead of Memorial Day weekend, when experts anticipate about a million Virginians will travel for the holiday.

“Lifting the capacity and distancing restrictions will make a big difference for those businesses relying on holiday travelers,” Northam said. “But we cannot forget the purpose of Memorial Day: to honor those military service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. This weekend, please, please, take the time to remember them and their sacrifice and to comfort their families.”

According to the Virginia Department of Health, 66% of adults in the state have received their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. More than half of the state’s population is fully vaccinated. Northam added this puts the commonwealth at 14th overall among all states in the country for vaccination efforts.

Earlier this week, longtime lawmaker John Warner, who represented Virginia in the Senate until 2009, died. During World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy just before his 18th birthday. Warner later became the Secretary of the Navy.

President Biden worked with Warner in the Senate for three decades.

“I can say without hesitation he was a man of conscience and a man of honor,” Biden said. “And in his life full of honors, the most enduring was his service to the people of Virginia. And we’re going to miss him dearly.”

Warner reportedly died from heart failure at his home on Tuesday. He was 94-years-old.

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