Biden reads to children at Children’s National Hospital ahead of Christmas weekend



CNN

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden met with patients at Children’s National Hospital in Washington on Friday, continuing a long-standing tradition during the holiday season.

The first pair to wear cloth masks met with pediatric patients, their families and hospital staff, and greeted management and emergency department staff. DR. Biden read “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats before the Bidens visited the cardiac intensive care unit with children and their families.

“Thanks for coming and listening to me read and letting the President hold the book,” she said after reading, as Biden tot said, “It’s my job.”

And the President chimed in with a message for parents in the room before he left, saying, “To all parents, be strong. We also spent a lot of time with patients in children’s hospitals, that’ll be fine.”

The Bidens’ trip within Washington comes as much of the nation — including the nation’s capital — faces extreme cold weather such as cold temperatures, high winds and heavy snow.

According to the White House, President Biden’s visit last year marked the first time an incumbent president paid a holiday visit to Children’s National.

The pre-Christmas Eve visit comes the day after the President delivered his Christmas address, in which he attempted to convey a unifying message.

Biden emphasized in his speech that “we’re certainly making progress” and “things are getting better.”

“Covid no longer controls our lives. Our kids are back in school. People are back to work. In fact, more people are working than ever before,” he said. “Americans are building again, innovating, dreaming again.”

Still, he acknowledged that “for some, Christmas can be a time of great pain and terrible loneliness,” citing his own experience of loss over the holiday – the death of his first wife and daughter 50 years ago this week.

“I know how tough this time of year can be… no one can ever know what someone else is going through, what’s really going on in their life, what they’re struggling with, what they have to try and overcome. That’s why sometimes the smallest act of kindness can mean so much,” Biden noted.

“So, let’s spread a little kindness this Christmas.”

FIX: Updated this article and headline to correct the hospital name to Children’s National Hospital.

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