Biden marks Cinco de Mayo with visit to Northeast DC taqueria

US President Joe Biden visits Taqueria Las Gemelas, a restaurant located in Northeast Washington, DC, on May 5, 2021. - Las Gemelas was a beneficiary of relief funding from the administration’s program to provide relief to restaurants, which were the

President Joe Biden celebrated Cinco de Mayo and highlighted his program to help out restaurants hard hit by the pandemic by visiting a Northeast D.C. taqueria on Wednesday.

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The president ordered tacos and enchiladas at Taqueria Las Gemelas, which is owned in part by Mexican immigrants, and was a beneficiary of the $28.6 billion program, according to the Associated Press.

The aid is part of the administration’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

"When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, our nation’s restaurants were some of the first and the worst hit," Biden said in remarks Wednesday, the anniversary of Mexico's victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862.

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The president stressed that restaurants have historically been one of the first rungs on the economic ladder, a chance to move upward that was undermined by the virus.

"For 1 in 3 Americans, a restaurant provided their first job," he said at the White House. "This industry provided more opportunity for minority managers than any other industry in America. This is an industry where the staff feels like family and often is family."

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The coronavirus pandemic has been brutal on D.C. area restaurants and bars.

Last summer, D.C. area restaurant associations projected that a quarter of all restaurants were threatened by closure during the pandemic, as municipalities were forced to limit the capacity and conditions for restaurants in an effort to slow the virus’ spread.

The Associated Press contributed to this report