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July 05, 2021

First lady Jill Biden celebrates Fourth of July in Philadelphia

The Willow Grove native praised the city's COVID-19 vaccination efforts

First lady Jill Biden spent some of the Fourth of July celebrating in Philadelphia, speaking at the city's Celebration of Freedom ceremony outside Independence Hall.

"There is no place this Philly girl would rather be than here with you now as your first lady," the Willow Grove native said.

Biden praised the city for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and for going "above and beyond" with its vaccination efforts. 

About 72% of adult residents have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to the city's vaccine database. About 58% of adults are fully vaccinated.

"At times, people have told me that Philadelphians are tough. That we're outspoken and loud. Well, and they said that's putting it nicely," Biden said. "Well, you know what, we are tough. We're fierce. When we get knocked down, we get right back up, and we never stop fighting for the things we care about and the people we love. That's who we are, and thank God it is, because that tenacity, that resilience, that love for our community, is what got us through the worst of this pandemic.

"We know how to show up for each other when it's difficult," Biden continued. "When families struggled with hunger, community refrigerators began appearing on the streets. When first responders were working long hours, family restaurants donated food."

Biden's speech came as the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium was honored with the Philadelphia Magis Award for its efforts to vaccinate Black and Brown communities, which have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. 

The Celebration of Freedom ceremony was one of many events included in the annual Wawa Welcome America festivities. They were capped by a concert at the Mann Center for Performing Arts and fireworks over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 

Philly native Cam Anthony, who won "The Voice," performed alongside the Philly POPS band and the Mother Bethel A.M.E. choir. Bebe Rexha and Flo Rida also performed.

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