MILWAUKEE (AP) — First lady Jill Biden visited a Milwaukee elementary school Wednesday to talk with parents and educators about the return to in-person learning and to promote direct federal funds for COVID-19 safety protocols.
“We can’t know what the future holds, but we know what we owe our children,” Biden said. “We owe them a promise that we’ll do all that we can to keep their schools open, and as safe as possible.”
Biden did not take questions from the media or comment on specific COVID protocols, such as school vaccine mandates or a city-wide mask mandate.
Her visit comes days after health officials warned that COVID cases among children are rising “very rapidly” and now account for about a third of cases in the city and county. The only time case counts have been higher for those under 19 in Milwaukee was in November, the peak of the pandemic, the Journal Sentinel reported.
President Joe Biden last week called for regular COVID testing for students and staff, along with universal masking and vaccine mandates for school staff. Jill Biden did not mention testing, though she spoke broadly in support of the plan.
Milwaukee Public Schools do require masks and recently passed vaccine requirements for staff, with exceptions for medical and religious reasons.