Second Gentleman Pool Reports of March 30, 2021

March 30, 2021

Pool Reports by Olivia Nuzzi, New York Magazine

Sent: Reports:
March 30, 2021

SGOTUS Pool Report #1

Good morning from Silver Spring, where the pool is awaiting a visit from Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff and Congressman Jamie Raskin at Mary's Center. Below is background from the White House:


Embargoed until event start time: 10:00am ET

Today, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff and Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) will visit Mary's Center, a community health center in Silver Spring, MD. Mary's Center has received aid as part of the Administration's investment of $6B to expand access to vaccines in underserved communities. Mr. Emhoff and Rep. Raskin will view a vaccination, convene a listening session with Mary's Center staff about their efforts to vaccinate their patient population, and view a mobile vaccination unit that Mary's Center will soon deploy.

Listening Session Participants

  • Maria Gomez, President & CEO, Mary's Center
  • Dr. Tollie Elliott // Chief Medical Officer, Mary's Center
  • Elysia Jordan // Director of Clinical Services, Mary's Center

Background on Mary's Center

  • Mary's Center is a community health center serving over 60,000 people of all ages, incomes, and backgrounds in the Washington, DC metro area for over 30 years. Mary's Center has three clinics in DC and two clinics in Maryland.
  • Mary's Center follows a social change model, and their work in the community goes far beyond providing medical services. They have used private funds to provide direct financial assistance to members of the community in need during the pandemic, including for childcare providers to stay afloat during the pandemic, food boxes for seniors, and Chromebooks for families without technology access.
  • Mary's Center started receiving vaccine doses in December 2020 at their Petworth clinic location, in Washington, DC. They launched a direct outreach effort, engaging patients who fit criteria and encouraging them to come in and get vaccinated. Today, after receiving vaccines from the federal government in early March, Mary's Center expanded its vaccination efforts to all five locations in DC and Maryland and has administered nearly 3,500 doses.
  • Mary's Center will receive $11M from HHS as a part of the American Rescue Plan's $6B to expand COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, and treatment for vulnerable populations; deliver preventive and primary health care services to people at higher risk for COVID-19; and expand health centers' operational capacity during the pandemic and beyond, including modifying and improving physical infrastructure and adding mobile units.
March 30, 2021

SGOTUS Pool Report #2 — observing a vaccination + start of roundtable discussion with Rep. Raskin

Mr. Emhoff entered the room at Mary's Center at 10:10 am and greeted a woman named Jessica who was about to get the vaccine. He greeted her in Spanish and asked why she thought it was important to receive the vaccine. Via a translator, she explained that she had already had Covid and thought it was important to get it now that she was eligible.

As Jessica prepared for the shot, Mr. Emhoff said, "you won't even feel it." Mr. Emhoff stood nearby and observed as she received the injection. He helped distract her by smiling (visible even behind his mask) and raising his arms to his sides in a bit of a joyful shrug. When it was over, in just a few seconds, Mr. Emhoff clapped along with the staff of Mary's Center. He thanked Jessica for receiving her vaccine in front of a crowd because, he said, it sent a great message.

Mr. Emhoff and Congressman Raskin entered the conference room upstairs at 10:26 am.

"One of the best things about this new job as Second Gentleman is I've been able to travel the country," Mr. Emhoff said, adding that on his trips he's met frontline workers and people at small businesses. When the administration first took office, he said, there were multiple crises colliding at once. But with the American Rescue Plan, he said, "Help is here — as we've been saying — and hope is here."

"There is hope, but as the president said yesterday: we cannot let our guard down," Mr. Emhoff said. "Wear your mask, social distance, and get the vaccine when it's your turn, and we can get through this."

"This is the cool part of this job: I get to stop talking and listen," he said, gesturing at the others seated (socially distanced) around the table. "I get to go home at dinner, and when the Vice President says, 'Honey, how was your day?' I can tell her what we talked about."

A White House official says this roundtable discussion is expected to last for about 30 minutes.

March 30, 2021

SGOTUS Pool Report #3 — round table wraps, brief tour of mobile site, departure

Rep. Raskin thanked Mr. Emhoff for coming to visit his district. He alternated between addressing Mr. Emhoff as "Mr. Emhoff" and "the Second Gentleman."

"Hope has arrived," Rep. Raskin said. He then told Mr. Emhoff that his district is home to extraordinary scientists and medical establishments, and that the vaccine is a triumph of science. "We are combatting months and years of anti-science magical thinking," he said.

"And will you send our greetings to Kamala Harris? We all love her!" Rep. Raskin said.

"The Vice President?" Mr. Emhoff said, "I'll tell her you said hi!"

Outside at 11:04 am, Mr. Emhoff and Rep. Raskin observed a vaccine mobile unit. As he walked over, Mr. Emhoff said, "What have we got doctor?" He listened intently as the logistics of the mobile unit was explained to him. "Well, this is awesome!" Mr. Emhoff said, in conclusion.

Asked by an NBC reporter if it was still too hard and confusing for Americans to navigate vaccine enrollment, he said, "I think it's getting better." He pointed to Mary's Center and other organizations like it as part of that improvement.

Mr. Emhoff departed around 11:10 am.

Doug Emhoff, Second Gentleman Pool Reports of March 30, 2021 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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