Second Gentleman Pool Reports of July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

Pool Reports by Tyler Bridges, Freelance

Sent: Reports:
July 14, 2021

SGOTUS Pool Report New Orleans #1

Douglas Emhoff arrived at 11:35 am to the Belle Chasse YMCA in Plaquemines Parish, across the Mississippi River from New Orleans. He was wearing a blue sport coat, tan khakis and a blue dress shirt. He shook hands with newly-elected Congressman Troy Carter, a Democrat from New Orleans, Kirk Lepine, Plaquemines Parish president, and others. He was then escorted through the lobby to 20 four and five year olds who had been fidgeting while waiting for Emhoff. They were sitting at a long white table. Their lunch was waiting on their side table.

"Hi kids!" Emhoff said in greeting. "Are you hungry? Sorry I'm a little late."

Emhoff quickly followed instructions to don a pair of blue plastic gloves and then began pulling the lunch items on a tray to be served to the children: chocolate milk, spaghetti and meatballs, corn and a banana.

"Are you the special guest?" a boy named Beck asked. "I'm the special guest," he answered.

Emhoff took a seat next to Beck. "Do you like bananas?" he asked. He peeled Beck's banana by squeezing the top first. "That's my technique," he said.

Emhoff moved to an adjoining room where an instructor was pitching a blue ball (slightly bigger than a softball) to kids swinging a plastic bat. Emhoff took over the pitching duties. Six kids hit rockets off of him, one that he had to dodge. "You guys are really good hitters," he said. Emhoff seemed in good humor and smiled throughout.

At one point, he bounced the ball on his knee as if he had played soccer.

At the third and final stop, Emhoff grabbed a corner of a parachute that about 20 kids were lifting up and down.

Press was then ushered out of the room.

July 14, 2021

SGOTUS Pool Report New Orleans #2

Douglas Emhoff arrived at his second stop, the Broadmoor Community Church in New Orleans, at 12:40 pm. He walked into an annex room wearing a black mask; everyone else was wearing one. A representative of the Second Harvest Food Bank explained to him the set-up in the room.

Emhoff talked about the importance of partnerships in food distribution and added, "And you've got the vaccination thing, too. You got the whole thing going."

Emhoff walked a few feet to where volunteers were handing out boxes of food to people as part of a giveaway carried out every Wednesday. He went to shake hands with a woman waiting for her food box. She responded with a fist, and he bumped her with his elbow.

"This is heavy," he said as he lifted a box to give to the woman. "There's a lot of stuff in here."

Sarah Pritchard, the executive director of the Broadmoor Improvement Association, which oversees the food distribution, had said in an interview earlier that people would get eggs, butter, chicken, beans, rice, pasta, peanut butter and canned tomatoes. The food primarily came from the USDA.

Emhoff posed for a photo with one woman who collected food and a second photo with another woman.

Emhoff went outside where Ochsner Health had set up a mobile vaccination station under a tent. (The sun was broiling.)

"What's your message?" Emhoff asked Dr. Katherine Baumgarten, an infectious disease specialist.

"Get vaccinated," she replied. She added that Covid is a preventable disease for those who are vaccinated. She added that they don't see as much severe illness and death with those who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant.

Several feet away, a 44-year-old immigrant from Mexico named Gustavo Posadas was waiting to be vaccinated. Posadas sat in a chair. "Don't be nervous," Emhoff called out.

"Yes, I'm a little nervous," Posadas said.

"I've had it (shots) twice," Emhoff said.

A nurse prepared to give him the injection.

"You're going to tell a bunch of people afterward, everyone you know," Emhoff told him. "This is real. It's the only thing that will prevent you from dying is getting this."

As the nurse was about to inject him, Emhoff said, "Look at me! Look at me!"

He got the injection.

"It's over," Emhoff said, and others applauded.

Emhoff took several questions from the press. Pool asked if has been difficult for him to embrace his new role. He said: "It's an honor, frankly. It's humbling. This is our 23rd state in less than six months. I've had this opportunity to travel around this great country of ours and do events like this and see communities come together – church, local, state, federal, medical come together on this scourge of Covid. It's a lot of work. But it's worth it. On the Covid piece, the vaccinations, I'm not going to stop. This administration is not going to stop until we continue to get the word out here. You heard what he said. It's real. He didn't believe it. He believes it now. Just talking about facts. Bottom line, cases and deaths and sickness are up where vaccinations are low. Where vaccinations are high, you're seeing no deaths, low cases because these vaccinations work. They're safe, they're free, they're effective. They're very available. We saw the facility at the airport walking in. We're going to go door, bring the vaccines out to the people."

Emhoff was asked about the kids (4 and 5-year olds) he had seen at the previous stop, including a bit of a modified game of whiffle ball: "I was one of those kids when I was a kid [laughs]. It brought back a lot of memories of myself. I actually called my son on the way in. I reminded him that I taught him to swim at the local YMCA in LA. It was really great not only to see the food program at work, which is so needed to have these benefits that this administration has provided, the rescue plan, which we need to make permanent, and also to see the joy, to see the fun. These kids were singing and dancing. Pretty good hitting, too. They lit me up. I need to work on my pitching [laughs]."

Emhoff was asked again about being the first Second Gentleman: "When I had the honor of being in this role because this country elected the first woman vice president, whose name is Kamala Harris, who happens to be my wife, I did embrace it. I just raised my hand and said, 'Where do you need me?' I'm going to go where I'm needed, where I can help. I've done that for six months, and I'm going to continue to do that.

"And I have the first gentleman of New Orleans with me [Jason Cantrell, the husband of Mayor LaToya Cantrell, was standing to his left]. I'm not the only one. Strong men need to support strong women. We need more women in leadership. We need more women in leadership and politics. And we need more women in leadership in business, too. Bottom line, this country will be much better off because of it."

Doug Emhoff, Second Gentleman Pool Reports of July 14, 2021 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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