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President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden brighten spirits at Children’s National Hospital

FIrst Lady and President Biden speak with Michelle Riley Brown

Today, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden spread holiday cheer to patients, families and staff at Children’s National Hospital. The First Lady visits are an annual hospital tradition that dates back more than 75 years to Bess Truman, who stopped by to see families who couldn’t spend their holidays at home. This is the third time President Biden joined the First Lady for the visit.

"It truly warmed my heart to see just how meaningful this visit is for our patients and their families during the holidays,” said Michelle Riley-Brown, MHA, FACHE, president and CEO of Children’s National. “We’re grateful to the President and First Lady for continuing this longstanding holiday tradition.”

The President and First Lady were escorted by 10-year-old Samukh Arunkumar. Lovingly known around the hospital as the “Mayor of 4 East,” Samukh loves Mario Kart and his nurses and doctors who take care of his acute myeloid leukemia.

The First Lady read “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clark Moore, as a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the publication. Portions of this year’s White House holiday décor included nods to the poem and book, such as the 2023 Gingerbread White House and a visual recreation of the story in the Grand Foyer. This was the First Lady’s way of bringing a bit of the White House holiday celebration to kids in the hospital, as a group of patients and families gathered in front of the Christmas tree to hear the timeless tale. The entire visit was also streamed by Seacrest Studios to every inpatient room.

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