First lady Jill Biden to attend opening ceremony of Summer Olympics in Tokyo next week

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First lady Jill Biden speaks before the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee at Disney World on Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

  • First Lady Jill Biden will lead the US delegation at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
  • The opening ceremony of the games takes place on July 23.
  • Tokyo is currently under a state of emergency due to a surge in coronavirus cases.
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First lady Jill Biden will attend the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo on July 23, her office announced Tuesday.

The first lady will lead the US delegation at the games next week on her first solo trip abroad. President Joe Biden will not attend, but plans to cheer on the athletes from home, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last month.

The travel plans come as Tokyo is experiencing a spike in coronavirus infections, entering a new state of emergency that started Monday and will last until August 22. The games end on August 8.

The move prompted Olympics organizers to ban all spectators from attending the games in person at stadiums and arenas. This comes after the Olympics had already been postponed by a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Psaki told reporters on June 28 that the White House planned to send a delegation to the games “as we have historically had” and that it “will continue to also convey the public health guidelines and guidance that we’ve been delivering out there about only essential travel.”

The first lady previously led the US delegation to the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Canada alongside then-Vice President Biden in 2010.

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Jill Biden and Kate Middleton visited a preschool classroom and fed a rabbit during their first meeting

U.S. first lady Jill Biden holds a tray of carrots next to Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, during a visit to Connor Downs Academy, in Hayle, Cornwall, Britain, June 11, 2021.
The US first lady, Jill Biden, held a tray of carrots next to Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, during a visit to Connor Downs Academy in Hayle, England, on Friday.

  • Jill Biden visited a preschool classroom in England with Kate Middleton during the G7 summit.
  • They met 4- and 5-year-olds at a school specializing in educating students who’ve dealt with trauma.
  • Biden, an English professor, called early-childhood education “the foundation of everything.”
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The US first lady, Jill Biden, visited a preschool classroom in the English county of Cornwall with Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, on the second day of the Bidens’ first overseas presidential trip.

Biden and Middleton met a class of 4- and 5-year-olds at the Connor Downs Academy, a state-funded school that specializes in educating students who have dealt with trauma. The kids had learned about the G7 summit, a meeting of world leaders that is taking place Friday and Saturday in Cornwall, and drew pictures of the White House and Buckingham Palace. It was Biden and Middleton’s first meeting.

“It’s the quietest class I’ve ever been into,” Middleton said after she and Biden entered the room of well-behaved kids.

Biden, an English professor, called early-childhood education “the foundation of everything.”

“I can tell you as a teacher at the upper levels, if they don’t have a good foundation, they fall so far behind,” she said. “This is amazing to see what these children are doing and how far advanced they are at 4 and 5 years old. It’s impressive.”

Biden and Middleton then went outside to visit one of the school’s rabbits with a few of the kids. Biden brought out a bowl of carrots to feed to Storm, the bunny. The two also participated in a roundtable on early-childhood education with several experts from both the UK and the US.

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) and US First Lady Jill Biden visit a class at Connor Downs Academy in Hayle, Cornwall on the sidelines of the G7 summit on June 11, 2021.
Biden and Catherine visiting a class at Connor Downs Academy in Hayle on the sidelines of the G7 summit on Friday.

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Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff made nearly $1.7 million last year – $1 million more than the Bidens, new tax returns show

Harris Emhoff   Photo by Patrick Smith:Getty Images
Vice President Kamala Harris and husband Doug Emhoff made almost $1.7 million in 2020

  • Vice President Kamala Harris and husband Doug Emhoff earned $1,695,225 in 2020, tax returns show.
  • Emhoff’s work as partner at law firm DLA Piper accounted for most of the couple’s joint income.
  • Harris and Emhoff earned less than in 2019, when they collected $3,018,127.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, collectively earned $1,695,225 last year, newly released tax returns show.

Most of the second couple’s 2020 income came from Emhoff’s work as partner at law firm DLA Piper, according to Bloomberg.

Harris contributed her salary as a US Senator and $293,902 from sales of her 2019 book, “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey.”

Their income was substantially down on 2019, when they earned $3,018,127. The drop was mostly due to Emhoff stepping back from his law firm. In August 2020, Emhoff took a leave of absence from the company following Harris’ nomination to vice president, and left the firm after the election in November.

Harris and Emhoff paid $621,893 in federal income tax in 2020, a rate of 36.7%, according to their joint tax filing shared Monday.

Their income in 2020 was much higher than the Bidens’. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden earned a collective $607,336 in 2020, and paid $157,414 in federal income tax, a rate of 25.9%, according to their joint return.

This is a substantial drop from 2019, when the first couple earned $944,737. The president stopped taking paid speaking engagements during his election campaign.

Harris and Emhoff have collective assets between $3.1 million and $7 million, Bloomberg reported.

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The Bidens made $607,000 last year, their tax returns show. That’s $300,000 less than 2019, in part because they gave up speaking engagements during the election.

Joe and Jill   Photo by Melina Mara   Pool:Getty Images
Joe and Jill Biden earned significantly less in 2020 compared to 2019

  • President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden earned $607,336 in 2020, down by more than a third from 2019, new tax returns show.
  • Vice President Kamala Harris and husband Doug Emhoff also earned significantly less in 2020, as Emhoff left his law firm.
  • Both Biden and Harris would pay more taxes under Biden’s proposals to expand social security.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden’s collective income fell by more than $300,000 in 2020, their newly released tax return shows.

The couple earned $607,336 in 2020, and paid $157,414 in federal income tax, a rate of 25.9%, according to their joint return released on Monday.

The Bidens’ income dropped significantly from 2019, when they earned $944,737 in taxable income, and paid $299,346 in federal income tax, a rate of 31%, according to tax returns released last September.

Last year, the president stopped taking on paid speaking engagements during his presidential campaign, which explains the substantial drop, according to CNBC.

Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, also shared their joint tax return. They earned $1,695,225 in federally adjusted gross income in 2020, and paid $621,893 in federal income tax, a rate of 36.7%.

Most of the couple’s income came from Emhoff’s work as a partner at law firm DLA Piper, according to Bloomberg.

This was significantly less than the $3,018,127 they earned in taxable income in 2019, and the $1,185,628 paid in taxes, due mostly to Emhoff stepping back from his law firm, according to Bloomberg.

In August last year, Emhoff took a leave of absence from the company following Harris’ nomination to vice president, and left the firm after the election in November.

Biden is proposing to increase taxes on the wealthy to pay for his American Families Plan, which includes expanding free preschool and college education. Both Biden and Harris would pay more taxes under the plan if their incomes stayed the same, according to CNBC.

In a press release, The White House said the release of Biden and Harris’ returns continued “an almost uninterrupted tradition,” in a jab at former President Donald Trump, who refused to share his tax filings during his four years in office.

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Jill Biden quipped that she felt ‘naked’ without a face mask after the CDC relaxed its advice for vaccinated people

Jill Biden
The first lady, Jill Biden.

The first lady, Jill Biden, joked that she felt “naked” not wearing a face mask after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its mask guidance for fully vaccinated people.

Biden was visiting a vaccine clinic at a high school in West Virginia on Thursday, the same day the CDC recommended that people who had been fully vaccinated could take off their masks indoors and outdoors in most settings.

“We feel naked!” Biden told reporters before pausing and adding “I didn’t mean it that way,” according to The New York Times, the Daily Mail, and the Financial Times.

Biden said she learned of the new advice during her journey to West Virginia and said she had brought a mask that matched her clothes.

“We just learned as we got off the plane,” she said, according to the Daily Mail. “And here I had gone out to buy one that was coordinated with my outfit, so you can’t win.”

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Jill Biden thanks moms for being ‘strong and resilient’ in a celebratory Mother’s Day message

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First lady Jill Biden gestures to a student as she visits the Christa McAuliffe School in Concord, New Hampshire, U.S., March 17, 2021.

  • First Lady Jill Biden on Sunday delivered a message of encouragement to moms nationwide.
  • “I know how hard you’re working, and I want you to remember that you’re strong, you’re resilient,” she told moms in a video message.
  • Working moms were hit hard by the pandemic, struggling to balance caretaking with day-job demands.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

First lady Jill Biden on Sunday offered moms everywhere words of support and gratitude to commemorate Mother’s Day.

“The pandemic has affected every part of our lives, challenging us and changing us like we never could have imagined. Whether your kids are 2 or 52, this year has been a tough one for moms,” she said in an posted to Twitter.

“I know it feels like so much is on you – it was a lot even before the pandemic,” Biden continued. “And just when you thought you had little left to give, you gave more. Because you’re a mom, and that’s what moms do. I’m proud of how we’ve come together even when we’ve had to remain apart, supporting each other in countless ways.”

The coronavirus pandemic has brought on economic hardship and financial devastation for millions of Americans and small businesses.

Among those hardest hit were working moms, who’ve struggled to take care of their kids during at-home learning periods while working their day jobs.

At the onset of the pandemic, about 13 million or about 45% of mothers who live with school-age children were not actively working, according to Census data. In normal times, about 70% of mothers with school-age children were.

The dramatic drop in working mothers during the pandemic represents more than just a symptom of a weakened economy, experts say. It also means that the American workforce isn’t designed to support mothers.

“I know how hard you’re working, and I want you to remember that you’re strong, you’re resilient, and you’re doing an amazing job,” Biden said. “From one mother to another, I see you, and I thank you.”

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Here is why the Bidens seem to tower over the Carters in that bizarre viral photo of the president and first lady with their oldest living counterparts

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In this April 30, 2021, photo released by The White House, former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter pose for a photo with President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden at the home of the Carter’s in Plains Ga.

  • A photo of Joe and Jill Biden meeting with Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter last week has puzzled the internet.
  • The Bidens appear to tower over the former first couple in a photo taken at the Carters’ Georgia home.
  • A specific photography method and the framing of the photo are likely responsible for the oddity.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The internet was set ablaze Monday evening after former President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter’s nonprofit, the Carter Center, shared a curious-looking photo of President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden posing with the former first couple last week in Georgia.

Like something out of a house of oddities, both Bidens appear to tower considerably over the Carters, who look like miniature figures seated in their chairs.

The photo seems to suggest that the Bidens are twice as large as the nonagenarian couple.

Jimmy Carter’s height is listed as 5′ 10″ while Biden is two inches taller. Rosalynn Carter, meanwhile, measures up at 5′ 5″, about one inch shorter than Jill Biden, who is 5′ 6″.

So, if the Bidens aren’t giants and the Carters aren’t tiny, what accounts for the bizarre photo?

A specific photography method and the framing of the photo are likely responsible for the illusion, according to The Washington Post and BBC News.

The photographer’s use of a wide-angle lens caused the Bidens, who are situated close to the edge, to appear enlarged. Meanwhile, the Carters, seated in the middle of the frame, look “pushed back,” BBC picture editor Phil Coomes told the outlet.

Marlena Sloss, a freelance photographer, told The Post that a strong flash also contributed to the effect. The flash reduces shadows, which play a role in giving photographed objects depth.

The Carters are both leaned back in their chairs, while the Bidens appear to be kneeling forward, giving the illusion that the two pairs are side-by-side and on the same plane, Sloss told the outlet.

The Bidens met with the Carters at their home in Plains, Georgia, during a trip to the state last week. It was the first time the two Democrats, who have a decades-long bond, had met in person since Biden’s inauguration.

The meeting was held in private, according to Yahoo News, as Jimmy Carter, 96, suffers from health problems that have impacted his ability to hear and speak.

The Carters are set to celebrate 75 years of marriage later this year.

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Newsmax host criticizes Biden for picking a dandelion for the first lady

Joe Biden Jill Biden
President Joe Biden gives a dandelion to first lady Jill Biden during their walk to Marine One on April 29, 2021.

  • Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield criticized Biden for picking up a dandelion for his wife, Jill.
  • “It’s a dandelion that hasn’t even blossomed into a flower yet,” Stinchfield said.
  • “I say it was a planted dandelion there,” he added. “Who knows?”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield on Friday criticized President Joe Biden for stopping to pick a dandelion for first lady Jill Biden while they walked to the Marine One helicopter on the White House Ellipse, saying that if the flower is blown “then everybody starts sneezing.”

As Stinchfield remarked on the president’s gesture for his wife of 44 years, the television chyron read: “Biden bizarrely gives Jill a dandelion.”

“All right folks, take a look at this,” he said. “Joe Biden, getting on Marine One, and he stops and picks up … I think it’s a dandelion? But it’s a dandelion that hasn’t even blossomed into a flower yet, like it gives everybody asthma. So you blow it, it goes everywhere, and then everybody starts sneezing. Well, he picks up the weed and gives it to Jill as what I guess is supposed to be some kind of a sweet gesture.”

He added: “I say it was a planted dandelion there. Who knows?”

Read more: This millennial GOP congressman voted to impeach Trump. Now he’s trying to save his party from going off a cliff.

Stinchfield’s commentary struck a sharp contrast with other media outlets, such as Reuters, which framed the gesture as romantic.

The first lady held on to the dandelion as she boarded Marine One.

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‘Thank you, Jill’: The First Lady is a key voice on Joe Biden’s educational reforms

jill biden
First Lady Jill Biden.

  • Joe Biden credited First Lady Jill Biden for the boost to Pell Grants in his new spending plan.
  • Nearly 60% of Black students rely on Pell Grants to pay for college.
  • Jill Biden continues to teach at a community college and included education reforms in her First Lady agenda.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Joe Biden’s first joint address on Wednesday night, during which he officially unveiled his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, included a shoutout to a key influence on its educational reforms: First Lady Jill Biden.

Of the $1.8 trillion package, $318 billion of it is going to reforming the country’s education system, and Biden revealed that Jill Biden, who teaches at a community college while serving as First Lady, led the effort to include aid to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and minority serving institutions (MSIs) and has been instrumental in advocating for education accessibility and certain education policies.

“She’s long said – if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: ‘Joe, any country that out educates us is going to outcompete us,'” Biden said during his speech.

Biden said in his speech that the reason for investing in Pell Grants is because HBCUs and MSIs “don’t have the endowments, but their students are just as capable of learning about cyber security, just as capable of learning about metallurgy, all the things that are going on that provide those jobs of the future,” and Jill Biden is to thank.

As part of the postsecondary education investments in the infrastructure plan, the president included investments in the Pell Grant program, which gives government subsidies to students who need it to pay for college. His plan proposed increasing the maximum Pell Grant award to $4,000, which would assist the nearly 7 million students who rely on Pell Grants.

This comes on top of a $39 billion program in the plan that provides two years of subsidized tuition for students from families earning less than $125,000 enrolled in a four-year HBCU or MSI.

A White House fact sheet said that among students of color, nearly 60% of Black, half of American Indian or Alaska Native, almost half of Latino, and over one-third of Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander students rely on Pell Grants to pay for college.

Jill Biden continues to teach classes at Northern Virginia Community College and has laid out an agenda of her own, which includes educational reforms.

“She’ll be deeply involved in leading this effort,” Biden said. “Thank you, Jill.”

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The Bidens encourage Americans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus in Easter message

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Jill and Joe Biden on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol Building.

  • President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden wished Americans a happy Easter in a video message.
  • In the video, the Bidens also urged Americans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus as soon as they can.
  • About 56 million Americans, or 17%, have been fully vaccinated, Johns Hopkins University data.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In a recorded message, the Bidens wished Americans a happy Easter holiday and urged them to continue to take precautions against the coronavirus.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden appeared side by side in the video, and both extended holiday greetings in their joint address.

“Jill and I want to send you our warmest Easter greetings to you and your family. As we celebrate this most holy day, we know many are still going without familiar comforts of the season,” the president said. “The virus is not gone, and so many of us feel the longing and loneliness of distance. For a second year, most will be apart from their families, their friends, full congregations that fill us with joy.”

“Yet as the Gospel of John reminds us, the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it,” he added.

The first lady echoed the president’s remarks, adding that she’s optimistic about the future of the United States in relation to economic downfalls and medical issues brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Today, as spring returns, we see hope all around us,” she said. “Families are getting the financial help they need to take a breath once again. Businesses are recovering and more and more Americans are getting life-saving vaccines.”

The president spoke again after the first lady, encouraging all Americans to get a vaccine against the coronavirus whenever it’s available to them.

“By getting vaccinated and encouraging your congregations and your communities to get vaccinated, we not only can beat this virus, we can also haste the day when we can celebrate the holidays together again,” he said.

Biden referenced Pope Francis in his address, saying he and the first lady “share the sentiments” of Francis who in January referred to the vaccine as an ethical obligation.

In his own Easter address this weekend, the Pope also suggested that the coronavirus vaccine is a priority, adding that he hopes people around the world experiencing hardship because of the pandemic find relief soon.

“I urge the entire international community, in a spirit of global responsibility, to commit to overcoming delays in the distribution of vaccines and to facilitate their distribution, especially in the poorest countries,” Francis said.

There have been at least 30 million positive coronavirus cases in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 554,000 Americans have died from it. So far, about 56 million Americans, or 17%, have been fully vaccinated, according to JHU data.

The statement from the Bidens directly contrasts the one put out by former President Donald Trump.

“Happy Easter to ALL, including the Radical Left CRAZIES who rigged our Presidential Election, and want to destroy our Country!” Trump said on Sunday.

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