Joe Biden Will Take His First Trip Away from the White House This Weekend Back to Delaware

President Joe Biden this weekend will take his first trip away from the White House, flying to Delaware to spend time with his family.

The White House announced Thursday night that Biden, 78, would head to his home state on Friday afternoon, though the trip raised some questions about why the president was traveling despite federal health officials' guidance to avoid air travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends avoiding air travel, saying it "increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19."

However, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Friday the "key" to that health guidance "is ensuring that people don't take steps to make others vulnerable in our effort to get be pandemic under control."

Biden received the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine before taking office last month. The two-dose immunization is estimated to be 94-to-95 percent effective at preventing symptoms, NPR reports.

"Delaware is his home, and he looks forward to spending the weekend there and some time with his family," Psaki said about Biden's plans for the trip.

Biden campaigned in large part on the seriousness with which he viewed the novel coronavirus pandemic, in contrast to predecessor Donald Trump. Biden promoted mask use and social distancing even as he was mocked by Trump, who openly waffled on the importance of preventative steps.

There have been more than 26.7 million confirmed cases of the virus and 455,805 deaths linked to COVID-19 in the U.S., according to a New York Times tracker.

Biden, who stressed the importance of COVID-19 safety in this week's PEOPLE cover story, recently said he hopes vaccines will be more widely available by the spring.

"It's going to be a logistical challenge that exceeds anything we've ever tried in this country, but I think we can do that," Biden told reporters in January. "I feel confident that by summer we're going to be well on our way to heading toward herd immunity. I feel good about where we're going, and I think we can get it done."

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