Joe Biden in the Lehigh Valley: Spectators waiting for a glimpse of Air Force One

It’s a beautiful sunny day in the Lehigh Valley to try and catch a glimpse of Air Force One.

Millie Wescoe traveled from her Bethlehem home to a clear vantage point along Race Street, happy she happened to be off of work on the day President Joe Biden decided to visit the Valley. She could see the airport runways from her driver’s seat, the cloud-filled sky reflected in her windshield.

“It’s a part of history. I like to see the plane land and I’m pleased the president has come,” she said, adding she camped out when former Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump visited the area.

“I think we have a lot to offer, and (the Lehigh Valley) is a great place to live, and I’m glad they’re supporting businesses in the’s just great we get an opportunity to see Air Force One.”

Biden is flying this afternoon into Lehigh Valley International Airport, and will head to the Mack Trucks plant in Lower Macungie Township. Airport Road was busy with construction and traffic Wednesday morning, but did not have gawkers a few hours before the president’s planned landing.

Wescoe’s spot was close enough for plane watching, but not too close to get caught in the expected traffic troubles that come when the president of the United States visits. The spot wasn’t quiet, though, as the five-lane portion of Race Street bustled with tractor-trailers heading to the nearby FedEx distribution hub and warehouses.

Amber Berg brought her daughter and son to watch the plane land. They tried to catch it when President Donald Trump visited last year, missed the landing, but were able to see Air Force One on the runway.

Berg’s husband was getting out of work a little before the scheduled landing, and was trying to make his way over to the airport in time.

“It’s a big deal-- he’s the president,” the Whitehall mom said. “It’s very majestic to see Air Force One, and have my kids see it.”

Closer to Route 22, a man who would only give his first name, Mike, sat on his truck with a Trump flag flying. Drivers in Airport Road passing by honked or gave a thumbs up out of their car windows.

Mike said he wanted to see the presidential motorcade; he also came out for one of Trump’s visits.

Asked if we wanted Biden to see him, the Bethlehem man said, “If he does, he does. And if he doesn’t, he doesn’t,” he said. “It’s the president of the United States. Whether you agree or disagree (with him), it’s exciting.”

The White House has said Biden’s speech “will emphasize the importance of American manufacturing, buying products made in America, and supporting good-paying jobs for American workers.” He is expected to discuss his proposal for “robust changes” to the Buy American Act.

It was welcome news for Wescoe, who works as a dental hygienist.

“I like the reason why he’s coming. We do need manufacturing. We do need to keep making things in America,” she said.

Biden’s visit comes after the CDC released new guidelines Tuesday to return to wearing masks indoors in order to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus, regardless of vaccination status. Following the announcement, the White House announced all staffers will wear masks indoors at the office.

In other pandemic news, the Biden administration plans to announce Thursday that all federal employees and contractors be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Unvaccinated employees would be required to test regularly for the virus, NPR reports.

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Sarah Cassi may be reached at