By Elizabeth Cook

WASHINGTON (CBS SF) — KPIX 5 anchor Elizabeth Cook traveled to Washington this week for a one-to-one discussion with First Lady Jill Biden touching on a number of issues ranging from the battle with COVID to the infrastructure bill’s impact on education to her family’s first Christmas at the White House.

Dr. Biden said the goal of her husband, President Joe Biden, and his administration has been from its very first day in office attempting to bring a divided country back together again. The theme the Bidens have chosen this year for the festive holiday decorations at the White House is ‘Gifts From The Heart.’

It was a theme reflected in the decorations in the Christmas tree that stood next to Dr. Biden. Many of those decorations contained photos treasured by the First Family.

“I think Joe is fixing things,” Dr. Biden said of the mood in Washington. “If you look at where we started when we came into office, I think he’s made such progress in so many things. Our kids are back in school, now we have (COVID) vaccines for everybody 5 years or older, we just passed the infrastructure bill, he brought together Republicans and Democrats and now every child in America is going to have broadband so that everybody has equal access to education and we are going to have better roads and clean drinking water.”

“In just a short time,” she continued. “I think Joe is doing a great job in moving things forward.”

As a career educator, Dr. Biden is particularly aware of the strides the administration has made to bring schools back after their pandemic shutdown and forced move to remote learning.

“One of the things I want to say to the parents out where you live (the Bay Area), they (local educators) are doing a great job and this has been so hard,” Dr. Biden said. “I know it as a teacher, I had to learn to teach over Zoom for last semester and then this semester I’m back in the classroom. So many parents had to drop everything (during remote learning), our teachers — look at the great job that they did.”

“In a minute, they just changed the curriculum, they got students on Zoom, some teachers stayed up late at night so that they could re-teach their lesson plan if too many members of their (students) families were on the computer and they didn’t have the time to be on. There has been so much educators have done.”

Dr. Biden said it was vitally important to continue to increase the resources available to educators.

“If we can give schools equal resources, if we can give every child in America the same opportunities, and that’s what Joe is doing,” she said. “It’s going to improve education, exponentially.”

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Elizabeth Cook