White House Holds First Easter Egg Roll In Two Years

Washington: The White House on Monday held the first Easter Egg Roll in two years, a longtime tradition interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“To all of you, have fun today and welcome to the White House,” US President Joe Biden said from the Blue Room balcony to a crowd of children and their parents.

Biden was joined by his wife – Jill Biden – and two Easter Bunnies on a rainy and chilly day, Xinhua news agency reported.

“My job is to keep it from raining for another two minutes,” he joked.

The Bidens officiated one of the egg rolls, with the president blowing a whistle to start kids running down their lanes with a painted wooden spoon.

American television host and comedian Jimmy Fallon, whose daughter participated in the egg roll, was among the celebrities in attendance.

Around 30,000 guests were expected to show up on the South Lawn at Monday’s event, according to the White House. But there were only a few individuals seen wearing a mask.

Covid-19 case numbers have begun to rise in the United States again, and nearly all of them were caused by the highly contagious Omicron subvariant BA.2.

White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha on Sunday urged Americans to get vaccinated and receive boosters if eligible.

“The good news is our vaccines are holding up really well against BA.2, against all of the Omicron variants, especially if you’ve been boosted,” Jha told a Fox News program.

“So the key here is you’ve got to have the initial two shots, and you’ve got to have a booster,” he continued. “That’s what’s really protecting people at this moment.”

A federal judge in Florida on Monday struck down the Biden administration’s mask mandate for airplanes and other public transport methods.

US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle said the order was unlawful because it exceeded the statutory authority of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC announced last week that it was extending the nationwide mask order for public transit for 15 days, as it monitors the uptick in Covid-19 cases.

 (IANS)