jill biden She embarked on her first solo international trip as the first woman on Wednesday, leading a US delegation to the Olympic Games. Tokyo Where coronavirus is on the rise and COVID-19 infections have reached a six-month high.
she will stop alaska On his way to Japan, and in Hawaii before his return to Washington.
White House Press Secretary jane saki said on Tuesday that the President Joe Biden And the first lady both felt it was important that the delegation be led “at the highest level” and that Jill Biden looked forward to the long journey to support American athletes who compete in some of the toughest conditions for the Olympics. do. sport.
He has a strong agenda for nearly 48 hours on the ground in the Japanese capital.
The first lady is due to arrive at Yokota Air Force Base in Tokyo on Thursday afternoon and will have dinner with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his wife Mariko Suga at Akasa Palace.
He is to return to the palace on Friday and will be hosted by Mariko Suga. Biden will do virtual get-togethers with Team USA members before meeting with Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace. She attends the opening ceremony of the Games in the evening.
On Saturday, the first lady will dedicate a room at the residence of the US Chief of Mission to former US Sen. Daniel Inoue, D-Hawaii, and his wife, Irene Hirano Inouye. The senator died in 2012, and his wife died the previous year.
Jill Biden will also host a US vs Mexico softball watch party at the US Embassy for employees and their families, and will cheer on US athletes competing in several events before leaving Tokyo.
The trip begins on Wednesday at the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. The First Lady will visit the Alaska Fisher House, where military and veteran families stay at no cost while a loved one is in the hospital. She will also visit the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage to encourage people to get the vaccine for COVID-19.
The first lady will visit the Honolulu vaccination clinic before returning to Washington.
Tokyo’s COVID-19 infections hit a six-month high on Wednesday, with 1,832 new cases being reported just two days before the start of the Games.
The Olympic host city is now in a fourth state of emergency, lasting until 22 August, the duration of the Olympic Games that opened on Friday and ends on 8 August. Fans have been banned from all locations in the Tokyo area with limited audiences. at some outdoor sites.
Suga’s government has been criticized by some for prioritizing the Olympic Games over public health, and there has been little fanfare for the Games, which were postponed since last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Imperial Palace said last month that Naruhito was “extremely concerned” that the Games could accelerate the spread of the coronavirus.
Jill Biden has been fully vaccinated. The White House press secretary, Psaki, said the US delegation would follow “very strict” health and safety protocols during the visit, including limiting their engagement with the public and keeping their footprint as small as possible.
President Joe Biden is not attending the Games.