(CNSNews.com) - Reading from notes and moving his face mask up and down, President Joe Biden gave soft-spoken remarks on Tuesday at Smith Flooring Company in Chester, Pennsylvania, not too far from his Delaware home.
He went there to tout the Democrats' $1.9 trillion stimulus bill that includes a relatively small percentage of COVID-related relief.
Biden promised that the bill will bring "immediate relief" of $1,400 to 85 percent of the American public. "One hundred million people are going to be getting, not a joke, a check for $1,400, which will change their lives," he said.
When Biden asked the company's owner Kristen Smith if she had a question for him, she simply thanked the president for coming to Chester to visit her small business. "Not many people come out and stop here in Chester, and so we're just grateful. We're grateful for the things that you're doing," Smith told Biden.
That remark sent the elderly president into the way-back-machine of his childhood:
"Every time I got stopped--stopped in Chester I am lost. I--I went to school in Claymont, just across the line, Archmere Academy, and we played up here and you had better come prepared when you are playing Chester. Be prepared to come to Chester. A lot of my buddies are from Chester, for real, the people I grew up with, and it's, you know --"
Here Biden abruptly changed the subject, addressing the COVID pandemic's effect on minority communities as well as addressing the two congresswomen who joined him in Chester:
A lot of my buddies are from Chester, for real, the people I grew up with, and it's, you know -- one of the things that we haven't -- and we are trying like the devil to make sure to correct -- is people who are hardest hit by -- and the congresswomen know this better than I do, the hardest hit are people in the minority communities, where the rate at which they get COVID is significantly higher -- sometimes in Latino community, Black community, up to four times greater, and the death rate is significantly higher.
And--and the last place--and that's why we're working so hard, they're working so hard to make sure we get the vaccine in places that are not ordinarily the focus.
That's why we put these vaccines in community health centers, that's why we have them in drugstores now. That's why we have mobile units. But I'm not just saying this because they are here. They have been loud and strong voices in getting this done. And it's not like it passed with 100 votes, you know what I mean? It was close and I want to thank you both and everybody in this county and the next county, Delaware County, should thank you as well. Is there anything else we can be doing?
Biden didn't wait for an answer, but instead asked how many people the flooring company employs.
The press was ushered out of the room, as is typical at Biden events, moments later.
Biden was returning to the White House Wednesday morning, after four days at his Wilmington home.