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Jill Biden campaigns in Michigan for her husband

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

The wife of Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden was campaigning for her husband in Michigan Tuesday.

Jill Biden toured a food pantry in Grand Rapids and met with military family members in Battle Creek. 

At the home of former congressman Joe Schwarz, Biden promised her husband would support military families struggling with deployments, health care and COVID-19.

“Supporting this community is not just the right thing to do... it's a national security imperative,” Biden told the four members of military families she met with in Battle Creek.

The Michigan National Guard has played an important role in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Trump Administration initially authorized federal funding to pay for the in-state deployment. But it recently declined Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request to continue fully funding the deployment, unlike in states like California and Florida. The state of Michigan has had to pick up 25% of the cost for the remainder of the year.  

Jill Biden says that wouldn’t happen if her husband Joe is elected in November.

“He will fully fund the National Guard...not like is happening here in Michigan...i mean that’s unconscionable,” says Biden. 

The presidential campaign trail has been busy in Michigan of late.  

Jill Biden was campaigning in Michigan less than a week after her husband met with union members in suburban Detroit.    

President Donald Trump campaigned in Michigan last week and his son attended a campaign event Monday.

The two campaigns’ events had very different looks. The Bidens’ appearing before a small select group of mask-wearing invited guests. The Trumps’ headlining large outdoor events drawing thousands of mainly mask-less supporters.

Gov. Whitmer says the Trump rallies “fly in the face” of the best science by allowing people to come out in large numbers without masks.

“The Michigan events have been outside...at least there’s that,” says Whitmer, though noting that the Trump campaign has held large indoor events in other states. “This is the exact kind of thing that creates potential super-spreader events.”

Michigan is seen as a pivotal swing state in November’s general election.  

Pres. Trump won the state by a little more than 10,000 votes in 2016. But polls this month have shown former Vice President Biden holding a slim lead. 

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.