Barack Obama seems all too happy to encourage Americans of all ages to rely on the government for its public health advice.
According to People magazine, the former president made a pair of surprise appearances in Chicago this week to speak with children — and unashamedly tout the fact that kids can now get vaccinated for COVID-19.
In his first surprise visit, Obama headed to a YMCA on Chicago’s South Side, where he said his family frequented when his daughters, Sasha and Malia, “were just itty bitty things.”
Extolling the virtues of the YMCA
According to People, the kids there were engaged in after-school basketball drills hosted by members of the professional Chicago Bulls and Chicago Sky organizations.
“We used to have birthday parties here,” Obama told the kids, according to People. “We used to occasionally shoot some hoops here… This was a community center and a place of refuge for kids.”
I heard the @ChicagoSky and @ChicagoBulls were visiting the South Side YMCA, so I decided to drop by, too. It’s always fun to meet young people who are learning to love the game. pic.twitter.com/lfdl7XrLJQ
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 3, 2021
The former president went on to extol the virtues of the nonprofit YMCA — which exists in part thanks to government grants — and even took a handful of shots at the net with the kids, making one out of his three attempts, according to an initial report from the Chicago Tribune.
Pushing vaccines on children
People noted that Obama and his wife Michelle were in his hometown to attend events related to his Obama Foundation and the future Obama Presidential Center, which is currently under construction.
Prior to his unannounced visit to the YMCA, The Washington Post reported that Obama also made a surprise trip to a local elementary school, where he was joined by Dr. Anthony Fauci — chief White House medical adviser and head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) — to promote the vaccines currently available for the coronavirus.
“We are just getting through the holiday season and we have one more thing to be thankful for, which is that we can get kids vaccinated if they’re between the ages of 5 and 11,” Obama reportedly told a gathered crowd of students, teachers, and parents. “Nobody really loves getting a shot. I don’t love getting a shot. But I do it because it’s going to help keep me healthy.
“It’s also going to help keep schools open because the more kids are vaccinated, the less likely that we’re going to have a covid outbreak in the schools,” the former president said. “And that means our kids have a chance to learn together and socialize — you know, do all the things that you’re supposed to be doing when you’re 5 or 6 or 7 or 11.”
It’s certainly no secret where he stands on the issue.