HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- An iconic Harlem church rolled out the welcome mat for First Lady Jill Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci.
They visited the vaccination clinic that's set up at Abyssinian Baptist Church on 138th Street Sunday afternoon.
The church opened the vaccination site back in January, and pastor Calvin Butts was the first person there to receive the shot.
"I think it's important for Dr. Biden, First Lady and Dr. Fauci, come to emphasize the importance, especially in the Black and brown community of the church in being the first line of defense against COVID-19," Rev. Butts said." We have been extremely successful in the pandemic, HIV tubes held the live demonstration house we made an effort that not only changed attitudes, but saved thousands of lives. We have doing that again, to choose healthy life."
At Abyssinian Baptist Church alone, over 12,000 people have been vaccinated and tested over 600,000 across the nation, according to Butts.
Butts says it's important for the vaccination sites to be at a church, particularly for the underserved communities in New York and across the nation.
"They are predominantly Black and brown, and our churches, historically, the African American community have been the first line of defense against any crisis," he said. "We are the oldest and most trusted institutions in our communities. And so therefore that's why I think Dr. Biden recognizes this I know Dr. Fauci does Dr. Tom Frieden, used to be a commissioner here in New York, Dr Marcel Nunez Smith, all of them. And we have been successful."
The visit was a bit of a homecoming for Dr. Fauci, who was raised in Brooklyn.
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