Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden will travel to Houston, Texas on Friday to discuss with local officials relief efforts in the wake of extreme winter weather that caused water shortages and power outages in the state, the White House announced Tuesday.

“The president will meet with local leaders to discuss the winter storm, relief efforts, progress toward recovery and the incredible resilience shown by the people of Houston and Texas,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a White House press briefing.

“While in Texas, the president will also visit a COVID health center where vaccines are being distributed,” she added.

Psaki said additional details of the trip are still in the making and will be released when they are finalized. Biden has approved an emergency declaration for the state.

The severe storms battering Texas have claimed at least 29 lives, according to a count by the CNN. More than 12,000 electric customers in the state remain without power as of Tuesday, according to

Some 7.9 million Texans are currently given boil water notices as they are impacted by public water system disruptions.

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