Biden, Fauci and U.S. Sen Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, watched as people got their shots in the basement of the Abyssinian Baptist Church.
Biden asked a teenager about to get his shot how old he was, and when he said he was 14, she responded, “You’re 14, that’s exactly what we want! Twelve and over.”
The Abyssinian Baptist Church has often hosted elected officials and other dignitaries, including in February when former President Bill Clinton and former Sen. Hillary Clinton attended a memorial service for actor Cicely Tyson.
The church first started offering vaccine doses in January in an effort to boost the vaccination rates in New York City’s Black and Hispanic communities.
First lady Jill Biden, left, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, visit a vaccine clinic at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in the Harlem neighborhood of New York Sunday, June 6, 2021.
The first lady and Fauci previously joined top military officials in February at a virtual town hall to urge serving military, veterans and their families to get vaccinated.
Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his nurse wife, Hollyanne Milley, also joined the town hall, which was co-organized by the Red Cross and Blue Star Families, a leading military family support group.
The couple modeled good mask behavior, putting theirs on together, while Gen. Milley stressed that the vaccines “have been shown to be safe and effective.”
“Protect yourself, your family and our community,” he said.
The purpose of the event, the first of a series planned by the organizers, was to provide military families with up-to-date information about the two vaccines being distributed, to answer their questions, and to urge families to get the jabs.
Biden, who has made support for military families a key plank of her first-lady platform, spoke via video conference from the White House. She said the families of serving military “serve and sacrifice” in their own way even though they don’t wear a uniform.
“Your questions matter and Dr. Fauci and his team are excited to answer them,” Biden said. “This fight is a battle we can win but we need your help. Mask up, socially distance and get the vaccine when it’s your turn. We can beat this together. Thank you for your questions an