Actress Jennifer Garner greeted Jill Biden when the first lady landed in West Virginia on Thursday to visit a vaccination clinic for students.
Biden, in accordance with new CDC guidelines, exited the plane without a face mask. She wore a white dress with a soft pink blazer over it. And she wore a pink face mask when she departed Washington D.C. earlier in the day.
Jennifer Garner, wearing a black dress, had a face mask on but took hers off when she saw the situation.
‘We feel naked,’ the first lady said about not wearing a mask. Then she paused. ‘I didn’t mean it that way!’
Most fully-vaccinated Americans can stop wearing their masks almost anywhere – indoors our outdoors, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Thursday.
The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters but is meant to help get vaccinated Americans back to their normal lives.
The Biden administration faced pressure to ease up on restrictions as more than 111 million Americans have been fully vaccinate. It’s also hoped the new guidelines will coax those reluctant to get their second dose or to get inoculated at all to get the vaccine.
Actress Jennifer Garner greets first lady Jill Biden in Charleston, W.Va.; the two women followed new CDC guidelines and went maskless
Senator Joe Manchin and his wife Gayle – in the back – joined Jill Biden for her trip to West Virginia as the White House woos Manchin for its legislative agenda
Mark Shriver, the president of Save the Children Action Network; Jennifer Garner; Jill Biden; Gayle Manchin; and Senator Joe Manchin in West Virginia
Jill Biden wore a pink face mask when she left for West Virginia on Thursday morning
Garner, a West Virginia native, served on the board of Save the Children with Dr. Jill Biden and campaigned for Joe Biden during the 2020 campaign.
She and Biden spent several minutes talking animatedly at the airport – waving their hands at each other – before posing for a round of photos. Two local students gave each woman a bouquet of flowers.
Mark Shriver, the president of Save the Children Action Network, an organization that provides resources to low-income families, also was at the airport. Jill Biden gave him an elbow bump.
Biden also was accompanied by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and his wife, Gayle as the White House woos the West Virginia senator on its legislative agenda.
The East Wing invited Manchin because it is his home state, and he accepted the invitation, according to Jill Biden spokesman Michael LaRosa.
The group went to Capital High to visit a vaccination clinic for students age 12 – 15.
A group of junior ROTC officers greeted them upon their arrival.
‘I know you just want to see Jennifer Garner,’ Biden joked with them.
‘They’ve seen me their whole lives!’ ‘Garner exclaimed. ‘Thank you for your service, kids.’
At the vaccination clinic in the school gym, Biden held the hand of a teenager getting vaccinated, and then asked the girl if she knows Garner.
‘Yes I love all of your movies,’ the girl said. Garner congratulated her on getting vaccinated, and spent several minutes talking with her.
Manchin touted the new guidelines and what they mean for his state during the stop.
‘You’ve all seen the latest from the CDC? That means no masks inside or outside,’ Manchin said.
He said ‘it means get vaccinated. We feel free!’
Manchin, a moderate senator, is a key vote for Democrats in the 50-50 Senate. President Joe Biden will need his support on his two massive legislative packages – his $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan – with its focus on infrastructure – and his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan with its focus on social programs.
Actress Jennifer Garner, a West Virginia native, will also be on the trip; above Garner is seen with Senator Joe Manchin at the ribbon cutting at The Greenbrier for the gala opening of the Casino Club on July 2, 2010
The trio also was originally scheduled to visit Arnoldsburg Elementary School in Clay County but that portion of the trip was canceled because of COVID-19 quarantine in the school district.
Garner grew up in Charleston and she has previously testified before Congress in support of education programs for preschoolers in poverty.
The actress was originally scheduled to travel with Dr. Biden to Alabama last month, to promote the administration’s COVID relief efforts for early childhood education, but that trip was scrapped because of severe weather.
Biden and Garner have also worked together as board members on the Save the Children charity organization.
Garner campaigned for Joe Biden in last year’s election, hosting an event on Instagram with Jill Biden.
Jennifer Garner and Jill Biden have worked together on the board for Save the children – above Dr. Biden, Bvlgari Group CEO Jean-Christophe Babin, Joe Biden, and Garner attend the 5th Annual Save the Children Illumination Gala at the American Museum of Natural History on October 18, 2017 in New York City
Jennifer Garner also has testified before Congress on education issues – above she speaks about high-quality, early-childhood education at a event on Capitol Hill last year
President Biden is also wooing moderate Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. He hosted both Sinema and Manchin at the White House for separate meetings this week.
Manchin told reporters his hour-long conversation with the president was ‘encompassing.’
‘We talked about everything, we really did. It was a great conversation,’ he said.
Given the evenly split Senate, Biden can’t afford to lose a single Democratic vote on his massive spending packages. By meeting with Manchin and Sinema, he’s giving them a voice and a chance to influence what ends up in the final legislative package.
The trip with the first lady sweetens the deal for Manchin. The trip will likely receive heavy media coverage in the state.