Dr. Jill Biden visits HIV/AIDS clinic in first official act as First Lady
Dr. Jill Biden has made a visit to a Whitman-Walker Health HIV/AIDS clinic in Washington, DC as one of her first official acts as the US First Lady.
Representing itself as a healthcare expert for the LGBTQ community and those with HIV/AIDS, Whitman-Walker was rated a LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader by the Human Rights Campaign in 2018.
The centre was founded in 1978 and was one of the first organizations to respond the the AIDS epidemic in DC.
Jill Biden takes a trip to Whitman-Walker
During her visit, Dr. Biden met with Naseema Shafi, Whitman-Walker Health CEO, and Kim Thiboldeaux, CEO of the Cancer Support Community.
The First Lady discussed with them how to “highlight and promote support services for cancer patients and caregivers.”
In a tweet, she thanked the clinic for “hosting me today to talk about support for cancer patients and caregivers, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on access to health care, screenings, and prevention efforts.”
In an open conversation in front of the White House pool press, Dr. Biden talked with Shafi, Thiboldeaux, and doctors serving patients with HIV and AIDS.
During her visit, she also encountered patients seeking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as well as other sexual health services.
Jill Biden assesses medical concerns
In addressing concerns about accessibility issues for the clinic’s patients in setting up televisits, Dr. Biden said, “You know we’re your corner.”
She reassured everyone that the current administration’s priority is to try and ensure that every American has access to the vaccine, which means these problems can be resolved.
Dr’s Biden’s office said the visit served “to highlight and promote support services for cancer patients and caregivers, as well as hear about the impact of COVID-19 on access to health care, including cancer screenings and prevention efforts.”
Dr. Biden’s stepson and President Joe Biden’s eldest son, Beau, died of brain cancer at the age of 46 in 2015.
The current First Lady is the third to visit the clinic, with Barbara Bush being the first in 1989, followed by Hillary Clinton, who was accompanied by Bernadette Chirac, the then-First Lady of France.
Signs of the times under the Biden-Harris admin
Dr. Biden’s visit grew positive reactions. Virginia Democrat state delegate Danica Roem lauded Dr. Biden for being “a true champion for making the United States a more inclusive country.”
Roem further said the clinic helped her with legal services to change her name and address other gender-affirming legalities.
Shafi tweeted: “We are humbled to be able to share our work in community and patient stories with the Biden Administration and appreciate their support and interest in what community-centered health care looks like — and the positive health outcomes that are possible when patients are made partners in their care plans.”
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) president Alphonso David said in a statement that with her visit, “First Lady Dr. Jill Biden has highlighted that the health and wellness of our community is a top priority.”
“From day one, the President and the First Lady’s commitment to taking immediate action to improve the lives of LGBTQ people has been a welcome breath of fresh air,” he added.