Remarks by the First Lady at Richmond and Henrico Health District's East Clinic in Richmond, Virginia

July 01, 2022

[As prepared for delivery.]

We're here in Richmond because the President and I—and the entire Administration—care about this community. We care about your families and we want to make sure that everyone has the information they need to stay safe. So, I want to speak to the moms and dads for just a moment.

You know, when you become a parent, there's a moment that we all go through: You look at that baby, with eyes like saucers and the tiniest fingers. And you feel an overwhelming sense of love, deep in your bones, and absolute terror.

Because you know that this fragile life is depending on you. And from that moment on, you see dangers that you never even noticed before.

So, we buy baby gates and cover our electrical outlets. We wrestle them into car seats no matter how much they complain. We make them eat their vegetables and slather them in sunscreen while they fight us with the strength of a linebacker! And after bedtime, when we're exhausted from the day, we carefully close their bedroom door and feel a pang of gratitude.

Because in that rare quiet, we know that everything is OK. That they are healthy and growing—that we are OK.

Parents, we do absolutely everything to protect our kids. And in this pandemic, you did.

Many of you had to go through birth without your own parents there to help you recover. You had to quarantine with your newborn and without the friends and neighbors who could come over and give you a few hours to yourself. You wrestled tiny masks onto children who couldn't understand them; you weighed the risk of going to crowded areas or traveling to see loved ones.

And you waited. You waited to feel the same relief you saw in families of older children.

I know it's been hard. But you've done an amazing job. You've protected your baby and carried your family through this.

And now, that relief is finally here: a vaccine for our youngest children.

It's been thoroughly reviewed and rigorously tested. It's safe and effective. It's free. And it's available for every child in this country, as young as six months old.

Now, even though so many parents have been waiting for this day, I know you may have questions. So talk to your pediatrician. Get the answers that you need.

And if you decide that this vaccine is right for your child, go to to find a vaccine site near you.

Parents, this is your choice—and we want you to have all of the information you need to make it.

Parenthood and worrying go hand-in-hand. And I can't promise you that the dangers of the world are going to become any less frightening—just wait until your kids start driving!

But with this vaccine, we can take away at least one of those worries.

From the day your sweet, fragile, little baby was born, you have made the choice, again and again, to keep your child safe. This is your choice too. So, make the decision to protect your children with the same vaccine that has already saved millions of lives. Because nothing is more important than our children's health.

It's up to us to keep them safe—and with this vaccine, we can.

Thank you.

Jill Biden, Remarks by the First Lady at Richmond and Henrico Health District's East Clinic in Richmond, Virginia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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