CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—First Lady Dr. Jill Biden just finished her visit to the Mountain State!
Dr. Biden was joined at Joint Base Andrews by Senator Manchin and his wife, Gayle Manchin, who was recently confirmed as co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. They departed at 1:13 p.m., and they arrived at 2:15 p.m. at Yeager Airport in Charleston to greet local officials, among whom was Mark Shriver, the president of Save the Children Action Network, which is an organization that provides resources to low-income families.
The First Lady and the Manchins disembarked without masks on, a move that the White House is calling a “nod to new CDC guidelines.”
Actress and ambassador for Save the Children, Jennifer Garner, met the First Lady and Senator Manchin in West Virginia. Garner grew up in the Mountain State.
According to a White House pool report, Dr. Biden arrived to signs that read “244 years shot to hell in 100 days,” “West Virginia Did Not Choose Biden” and “Welcome Jill.”
Their next stop was to visit a vaccination center at Capital High School in Charleston, and at that time Dr. Biden gave remarks focused on youth vaccinations. Senator Manchin and Jennifer Garner also gave remarks at the high school.
Dr. Biden joked with a group of junior ROTC officers when they greeted her at Capital High, saying, ” know you just want to see Jennifer Garner.”
Senator Manchin spoke to reporters, noting, “You’ve all seen the latest from the CDC? That means no masks inside or outside.”
When a reporter asked, “What does that mean for the people of West Virginia?” Manchin responded with, “It means get vaccinated!”
From the pool reporter, Katie Rogers of the New York Times: “Inside the school, the (presumably) vaccinated are slowly beginning to remove their masks. Your (yes, vaccinated) pooler is now maskless. I suspect for many, this moment will be a surreal and memorable one.”
Garner’s remarks were about Save the Children and the need to receive vaccinations. She said, “The most important thing we can do is get this virus behind us. And in order to do that, we have to get anyone with vaccine hesitancy into these chairs.”
Dr. Biden spoke about the safety of vaccinations, saying, “Now, there’s a fair amount of misinformation out there, and some of my friends have asked me, Is the vaccination safe. And you all know the answer is yes. I got my shot, and I promise It didn’t even hurt, and I hate needles.”
Dr. Biden and Senator Manchin departed Yeager Airport after greeting the West Virginia National Guard and their families.
Even though the First Lady was only in the Mountain State for a few hours, she traveled with a full staff. According to the White House, the following staffers were along for the visit:
- Anthony Bernal, Senior Adviser
- Julissa Reynoso, Chief of Staff
- Mala Adiga, Director of Policy
- Rory Brosius, Executive Director of Joining Forces
- Michael LaRosa, Press Secretary
- Vanessa Lion, Deputy Director of Policy
- Jordan Montoya, Trip Director