With an emphasis on COVID vaccinations, First Lady Jill Biden lands in Hawaii

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 6:39 AM HST|Updated: Jul. 25, 2021 at 11:29 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - First Lady Jill Biden touched down in Honolulu on Saturday afternoon following her trip to the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics.

She arrived on tarmac of Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam around 12:40 p.m.

Biden was greeted with handshakes and lei from local dignitaries, including Gov. David Ige and Congressman Ed Case.

With the first lady in Hawaii, state leaders hope her voice will lead to a jump in vaccinations — especially amid a surge in COVID cases.

“I mean she is the First Lady of the United States of America and certainly her adding her voice to all of the local voices, I think is just one more powerful message about why it’s important to get vaccinated,” Ige said.

During Biden’s time on Oahu, she’ll make a stop at Waipahu High School’s mobile vaccination clinic around 1 p.m. Sunday.

“Getting vaccinations out is not a one-stop shop. You got to do it in every which way you can — and that’s her focus tomorrow at Waipahu,” Case said.

The clinic at the high school is open to anyone ages 12 and older from noon to 4 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome though appointments can also be made online by clicking here.

Another private event with military families is planned before her departure Sunday afternoon.

During this time away from Washington D.C., the first lady also scheduled a stop in Alaska.

The first lady is fully vaccinated and was among the select few allowed to attend the Olympics opening ceremony in Japan on Friday. This is Biden’s first solo international trip as first lady.

The games were initially postponed because of the pandemic, but are now moving ahead despite a growing number of COVID cases linked to the Olympics.

While in Japan, she also dedicated a room in the U.S. Embassy to former U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and his wife, Irene Hirano Inouye, founding president of the U.S.-Japan Council.

Ken Inouye, the son of the late-senator, was also there to great the first lady. He said their family was moved by the honor.

“He (former Sen. Daniel Inouye) would be very humbled by it.” Ken Inouye said. “He always thought we as Americans worked to bring the harmony of two sides of our heritage. Our loyalty to the country and the place of our ancestors. This is a recognition of that.”

Inouye died in 2012, while Hirano Inouye died last year.

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