Style Jill Biden and Jennifer Garner Tout Vaccines in School Visit and Celebrate New Mask-Free Guidelines
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First Lady Dr.made her first official mask-free appearance Thursday as she was joined by to visit an area high school and vaccination site in Charleston, West Virginia.
Reflectingfrom the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — which were announced while Biden was flying to West Virginia — the first lady, 69, disembarked without a mask, wearing a pink blazer, white dress and pearl necklace.
She was greeted on the tarmac by Mark Shriver, president of Save the Children Action Network, an organization that provides resources to low-income families.
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Reporters traveling with the first lady noted that Garner, 49 — who serves as an ambassador for Save the Children — showed up to greet Biden in a mask but took it off once she saw that everyone else was going mask-free.
According to reporters, Garner and the first lady spent several minutes speaking animatedly before posing for a round of photos. The two have previously worked together as board members for the charity organization.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and his wife, Gayle — who joined Biden on the flight to West Virginia — were also at the event.
Upon arriving at Charleston's Capital High School, the group was greeted by a small number of junior ROTC officers, according to reporters.
After telling the young officers that her late stepson,, had served in the Army National Guard, Biden joked with them: "I know you just want to see Jennifer Garner."
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"They've seen me their whole lives!" Garner exclaimed. "Thank you for your service, kids."
Manchin, meanwhile, appeared overjoyed at the news from the CDC, which earlier in the day announced that all fully vaccinated people are no longer expectedto wear masks indoors or outdoors.
"You've all seen the latest from the CDC? That means no masks inside or outside," the senator said.
After a reporter asked what that meant for the people of West Virginia, Manchin responded:
"It means get vaccinated! We feel free!"
"We feel naked," the first lady interjected, before saying: "I didn't mean it that way!"
"We feel free," Manchin said.
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At the school (which Garner, a West Virginia native, said was her rival high school), she said she was looking forward to having her own kids vaccinated and told other moms to hang in there.
Following a tour of the school and clinic, both the first lady and Garner delivered remarks.
"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 the answer is, 'Yes.' I got my shot, and I promise It didn't even hurt, and I hate needles," Biden said.
She added that she was excited about the latest CDC update regarding mask usage: "We're getting back to those things that we lost for so long, hugging the people we love. I mean, how great will that be? We all miss that just most of all, and then just smiling at strangers and some of the people know that we're actually smiling with them."
In her own speech, Garner spoke about getting more people vaccinated: "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."
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The governor of New York on Thursday announced that the state was not yet ready to lift their mask mandate, despite the CDC earlier declaring that vaccinated people need not wear face masks.On Thursday, the federal health agency said fully vaccinated Americans do not have to wear masks outdoors in most indoor settings, aside from crowded places such as buses and planes.
Manchin, a Democrat, also made remarks at Capital High following the tour in which he referred to Garner as the "first daughter of West Virginia" and "a special person who never forgot where they came from."
The Alias and Camping star was originally scheduled to travel with the first lady last month to Alabama, to promote the administration's COVID relief efforts, but that was scrapped because of severe weather.
Garner — who shares son, 8, and daughters , 11, and , 14, with ex-husband — campaigned for last year and participated in an Instagram Live conversation with Dr. Biden in October.
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