9-year-old Milwaukee virus fears lead to White House visit

MILWAUKEE (AP) – A third-grader from Milwaukee whose fears about COVID-19 were mitigated by President Joe Biden when he came to Wisconsin for a televised town hall walked away from the meeting with both comfort and joy.

The joy came when Layla Salas and her family, at the President’s invitation, attended the White House vacation open house on Saturday. The 9-year-old told Journal Sentinel that her favorite part of the tour was seeing the green room filled with Christmas trees decorated in purple.

“It was better than a cookie on a hot summer day,” she exclaimed.


It all started in February when her mother, Jessica Salas, asked Biden on behalf of Layla when the vaccine would be available for children. Biden responded directly to Layla, explaining that children are not at high risk for serious infection with COVID-19 and that the vaccine for children is not yet ready.

“Don’t be afraid, honey. Do not be afraid. Everything will be fine and we’ll make sure mom is okay too, ”Biden said.

Layla then said: “I felt really, really, really happy when he said I was fine.”

After she and her little brother, Mateo, were both fully immunized, the family sent a note to the President’s staff thanking them for helping make this possible. The White House responded with an offer to attend the party.

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