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Trump To Visit North Carolina On Monday To See Work On Virus Vaccine

Photo of Donald Trump at a microphone
Gage Skidmore
Flickr Creative Commons

President Donald Trump is coming to the Triangle on Monday to visit a facility involved in work to create a COVID-19 vaccine.

With his re-election bid appearing as tenuous as it has to date, Trump will tour a biotech facility in Morrisville where components of a possible COVID-19 vaccine are being produced. It is his first trip to North Carolina since the eve of the March 3 presidential primary.

The FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ Innovation Center that he'll tour is manufacturing key drug components of a vaccine candidate developed by another company. It's all part of the federal government's efforts to get a vaccine ready next year.

White House officials say Trump will detail the partnership between his administration and the private company during this visit. Just last week, the president shifted his position on the virus, for now dropping his previous rhetoric that the coronavirus will simply disappear. For the first time, Trump also called on people to wear masks.

North Carolina remains a key battleground state and Trump is expected to return here frequently throughout fall. Trump won North Carolina's 15 electoral votes in 2016 by nearly four percentage points.

A scaled-down version of the Republican National Convention is still set for Charlotte next month. Trump pulled his acceptance speech from there after conflict with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper over convention safety. The convention festivities headed to Jacksonville, Florida, but Trump pulled the plug on that venue last week.

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Jeff Tiberii is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Jeff joined WUNC in 2011. During his 20 years in public radio, he was Morning Edition Host at WFDD and WUNC’s Greensboro Bureau Chief and later, the Capitol Bureau Chief. Jeff has covered state and federal politics, produced the radio documentary “Right Turn,” launched a podcast, and was named North Carolina Radio Reporter of the Year four times.
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