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Dr. Jill Biden visits University of Minnesota Wednesday

Before holding a listening session with Gov. Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan, frontline health care workers and local leaders met the first lady at MSP Airport.

MINNEAPOLIS — First Lady Dr. Jill Biden returned to Minnesota on Feb. 9 alongside Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

The visit, was meant to highlight the American Rescue Plan's investments in child care, will bring Dr. Biden to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

The first lady and Secretary Becerra were greeted by health care workers and staff from Abbott Northwestern Hospital after they arrived at MSP Airport. Both full-time hospital staff and members from the Federal COVID-19 Surge Response Team, who traveled to Minnesota to support medical facilities dealing with worker shortages, were on site to meet with Dr. Biden.

In addition to Abbott Northwestern staff, Gov. Tim Walz, First Lady Gwen Walz, Rep. Ilhan Omar (DFL-MN-5), Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter were at MSP when the first lady landed.

The primary purpose of Dr. Biden and Secretary Becerra's trip was to visit the University of Minnesota Child Development Laboratory School for a listening session with Gov.  Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. There, they talked about how more than $500 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds was used in Minnesota.

In a recent visit to the University of Minnesota, Walz and Flanagan used the school's Institute of Child Development as the backdrop to announce the administration's $2.7 billion "local jobs and projects" plan. The institute is currently getting a major rebuild thanks to money from the $1.9 billion bonding bill approved by the 2020 legislature.

The First Lady made several campaign stops in Minnesota in 2020 while her husband, Joe Biden, ran for president. She was also scheduled to visit in July 2021 but that trip was canceled.

Across Minnesota, more than $40 million of American Rescue Plan assistance is currently being used to support hospital staff as they battle COVID-19. A fourth federal medical team from the Department of Defense arrived in Minneapolis at the end of January to bolster staff at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

Hundreds of other nurses have been deployed to Minnesota to work at hospitals across the state that are dealing with ongoing personnel shortages.

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