Michelle Obama has revealed she’s had the COVID-19 vaccine and is thinking about retiring from public life.
The former First Lady, in a wide-ranging interview with PEOPLE on Wednesday, also opened up on her pandemic year, saying George Floyd‘s death was a lot to take on during quarantine and that Donald Trump‘s defeat means ‘we can breathe for a moment’.
The 57-year-old insisted that Americans should take the COVID-19 vaccine when they were able to and said there was ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ amid the pandemic.
‘I encourage everyone to get a vaccine as soon as they have an opportunity,’ she said.
It is not clear when Mrs Obama received the COVID-19 vaccine, or if Barack has also received the shot.
Michelle Obama revealed in a wide-ranging interview with PEOPLE on Wednesday that she’s had the COVID-19 vaccine and is thinking about retiring from public life
Speaking about the past year, Obama said: ‘These have been challenging times. Many people have struggled: jobs lost, people going hungry. We’ve learned to count our blessings, the importance of health and family.’
Obama said she and husband Barack have spent much of the year isolating with their daughters Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19, after their Harvard and University of Michigan college campuses were shut down early on in the pandemic.
She said family the time between their homes in Washington, D.C. and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
‘This time has allowed us to get some stolen moments back with our girls,’ she said. ‘There’s something about witnessing your children become adults and developing a different relationship with them.
‘They didn’t come back into the house into the same set of rules, because I didn’t want them to miss out on independence. They came back as young women and our conversations are more peer-oriented than they are mother-to-daughter.’
Obama said she would often listen at the door while her daughters were streaming their classes online.
‘With everybody homeschooling, what’s interesting for me is to listen in on some of their classes to hear how they interact with their professors. When your kids are off in college, you don’t get to see that part of them,’ she said.
Obama also revealed she was thinking about retiring from public life.
Obama said she and husband Barack have spent much of the year isolating with their daughters Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19, after their Harvard and University of Michigan college campuses were shut down early on in the pandemic
Michelle, pictured with Barack at Joe Biden’s inauguration, also revealed she was thinking about retiring from public life. Her new Netflix children’s food show, Waffles + Mochi, premiered on Tuesday and the Obama Presidential Center is under construction in Chicago
‘I’ve been telling my daughters I’m moving towards retirement right now,’ she said, adding that she’s choosing her projects and chasing summer.
Her new Netflix children’s food show, Waffles + Mochi, premiered on Tuesday and the Obama Presidential Center is under construction in Chicago.
‘Barack and I never want to experience winter again,’ she said.
‘We’re building the foundation for somebody else to continue the work so we can retire and be with each other, and Barack can golf too much, and I can tease him about golfing too much because he’s got nothing else to do.’
The former First Lady also touched on her own mental health struggles and suffering ‘low-grade depression’ during lockdown, which she said were heightened by George Floyd’s death.
‘That was during a time when a lot of hard stuff was going on,’ she explains. ‘We had the continued killing of Black men at the hands of police. Just seeing the video of George Floyd, experiencing that eight minutes. That’s a lot to take on, not to mention being in the middle of a quarantine.
‘Depression is understandable during these times. I needed to acknowledge what I was going through, because a lot of times we feel like we have to cover that part of ourselves up, that we always have to rise above and look as if we’re not paddling hard underneath the water.’
Speaking out racial injustice across the country, Obama also said that Trump’s defeat in November meant there was room to ‘breathe for a moment’ but the work needed to continue.
The Obamas had heavily campaigned for Biden to win the election.