President Biden will travel to Milwaukee on Tuesday to participate in a CNN town hall event, his first substantive trip outside of Washington since assuming office at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has substantially limited presidential travel.
CNN said in a statement that Anderson Cooper will moderate the town hall event, which will be held at the Pabst Theater in front of what the network described as an “invitation-only, socially distanced audience” in observance of Wisconsin’s pandemic guidance and regulations.
In the announcement, CNN said Mr. Biden was expected to field questions about several issues, including efforts to “defeat the coronavirus” and return a “sense of normalcy” to life in the United States. White House officials confirmed the trip but declined to provide any details.
The visit will be the president’s first official trip. Mr. Biden’s first flight on Air Force One as president came last weekend, when he made the short trip to his home in Wilmington, Del.
The pandemic has so far prevented Mr. Biden from the kind of presidential travel that new White House occupants often undertake shortly after taking office. The White House has repeatedly declined to say when Mr. Biden might make his first foreign trip, which typically happens in February or March of a new president’s first year.
In addition, Mr. Biden has so far resisted making appearances around the country to push his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief legislation, which is pending in Congress. In normal times, presidents would travel to different parts of the country to highlight the impact of the legislation on the lives of Americans.
Instead, Mr. Biden has been making the case in virtual events from the White House. On Monday, he participated in a virtual tour of a Covid-19 vaccination center at a stadium in Arizona. During the event, Mr. Biden said he wished he could have been there in person.
“Because of Covid, we can’t come and see you, which we’d ordinarily be doing, getting on a plane and coming out and looking firsthand,” he said.
The visit to Milwaukee next Tuesday suggests that Mr. Biden’s eagerness to get out of Washington is pushing the White House to find ways to begin presidential travel in a manner that does not violate the new administration’s pandemic guidance.