President Joe Biden toured a construction project in a Chicago suburb on Thursday to promote vaccination requirements. The project happens to be managed by a company whose chairman and founder is a megadonor to the president and the Democratic Party.
Forbes reported that Biden would travel to Illinois and make one stop, at a construction site in Elk Grove Village run by Clayco, a self-described "leading edge" real estate, engineering, and construction firm with nearly $5 billion in annual revenue. Clayco's chairman, Bob Clark, gave at least $260,000 to the Biden campaign in 2020 through direct contributions and bundling efforts.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the president would make the trip "to meet with public and private sector leaders who have implemented vaccination requirements." Clayco will require vaccinations or regular testing for its employees ahead of the Biden administration's federal vaccine mandate on businesses that's set to be enforced next month.
The Biden administration awarded Clark in September with a State Department position: commissioner general at the Expo 2020 world's fair in Dubai.
Clark has been a major financier of Democratic politics for decades, having given $1.57 million to liberal candidates and causes, according to the Chicago Tribune. Democratic politicians have repaid Clark's loyalty. Former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, whom Clark gave more than $120,000, approved Clayco developments in the city. And former president Barack Obama appointed Clark to a position on the White House Preservation Committee.
Biden has faced criticism before for boosting businesses tied to his political allies. The president in April promoted Proterra, an electric battery and vehicle manufacturer, while his energy secretary, Jennifer Granholm, held a multimillion-dollar stake in the company.