Joe and Jill Biden mask up for holiday visit to DC Children’s Hospital

President Joe Biden and his wife Jill wore masks on Friday during a holiday visit to a children’s hospital in Washington, DC, amid a global surge in COVID-19 cases.

Biden accompanied the First Lady as she read Ezra Jack Keats’ “The Snowy Day” aloud to patients at Children’s National Hospital.

Sitting in front of an ornately decorated Christmas tree, Jill Biden read behind a purple mask that matched her dress while the president wore a black face covering.

While Biden said yesterday that ‘COVID-19 no longer controls our lives’, the Children’s National Hospital’s strict policy remains that all visitors wear masks at any of its facilities at all times, except when they eat, “to protect our patients,” according to the hospital’s website.

Joe Biden puts on his mask during a visit to Children’s National Hospital.
PA

“Things are improving. COVID no longer controls our lives. Our children are back in school. People are back to work,” the president said in a holiday-themed speech from the White House.

However, COVID-19 cases are rising again.

In China, as many as 248 million people – nearly 18% of its population – contracted the virus in the first 20 days of December, according to the minutes of an internal meeting of the National Health Commission obtained by Bloomberg News.

In just one day, nearly 37 million people may have caught the virus, according to the report.

In the United States, the increase in cases is much less extreme but tending to increase as millions of Americans travel to visit family and friends during the holidays.

First Lady Jill Biden, accompanied by President Joe Biden, reads "The snow day" by Ezra Jack Keats at Children's National Hospital in Washington
PA

According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States is seeing an average of more than 487,000 cases per week, which is up from just a few weeks ago in October, when a little more than 260,000 cases per week were reported.

The current number is just a fraction of the January 2022 peak, when 5.6 million cases per week were reported, according to the CDC.

In New York, just under 27,000 COVID-19 cases per week have been reported most recently. Meanwhile, in the rest of the state, excluding the five boroughs, fewer than 20,000 cases per week have been reported, according to CDC data.

New York City is also seeing a sharp rise in influenza and respiratory syncytial virus cases, with Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan saying earlier this month that “respiratory viruses in our city are abnormally high” .

New York Governor Kathy Hochul urged New Yorkers to keep up to date with their vaccinations to avoid the burden of hospitals after the holidays.

“As New Yorkers come together to celebrate this holiday season, I urge everyone to remain vigilant and take every precaution available to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities,” Hochul said in an update. coronavirus update Thursday. “Keep up to date on vaccine doses and test before gatherings or travel. If you test positive, talk to your doctor about potential treatment options.

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