Masked Joe Biden Visits Masked Children in Philadelphia Elementary School

US President Joe Biden tours art after-school programs at Luis Munoz Marin Elementary School in Philadelphia, on March 11, 2022.
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden visited a group of students in an elementary school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Friday.

Although the event was billed as a way for the president to promote the return of in-person learning after the coronavirus pandemic, all of the students and teachers wore masks.

The Centers for Disease Control have lifted mask guidance for schools, but advise school districts to require masks in areas where levels of the virus are still high.

Biden, administration officials, and members of the media also wore masks during the school visit.

The president pointed out his Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

“You know this guy here? He runs the whole country’s education system,” he said.

Cardona spoke to the students briefly in Spanish about the president’s visit.

One teacher prompted a child to welcome Biden in both Spanish and English, telling him their school was a place where “we believe that we are change makers and anything is possible when you believe in yourself.”

Biden celebrated the return of in-person learning.

“Makes a big difference being in school than on a computer,” he said to the students.

When one girl told him she was nine, Biden said, “The only thing I want you to remember, no serious guys till you’re 30 years old.”

Another student complained her brother took all of her belongings, including her doughnuts.

“He ate your doughnuts?” Biden said. “Now that’s getting serious.”

The president spoke fondly of his younger sister, Valerie Biden Owens.

“My little sister is my best friend in the whole world. She takes care of me all the time, from the time I’ve been a child, she’s been on my handlebars riding around, but she’s smarter than I am, better looking than I am, does everything better than I do,” Biden said.


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