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Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff visits COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Topeka High

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 7:03 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The husband of the vice president of the United States was in Topeka this afternoon – Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff was alongside the education secretary with a message.

Douglas Emhoff is a former entertainment attorney. The husband of Vice President Kamala Harris has become the face of the Biden administration’s efforts to increase covid-19 vaccination numbers across the country.

“I just had a really close friend of mine pass away,” one woman told Emhoff as she got her vaccine. “His daughter got the vaccination, but he was so skeptical he didn’t get it.”

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona listened to personal stories from parents and students while touring a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Topeka High. Their visit was to deliver a message.

“They’re safe, they work, they’re effective, they’re free, it’s not new technology,” he said of the COVID-19 vaccines.

The motorcade arrived shortly before noon. Emhoff says he’s touring the country to debunk what he calls “misinformation”.

“We want to make sure that people have the right facts,” he explained.

The pair engaged in a roundtable discussion with students, sharing why they chose to get the vaccine - and are encouraging unvaccinated family and friends to do the same.

“I’m excited about going back into that sense of community. Topeka High is such a tight-knit school,” DeAndre Hicks said.

Student-athletes expressed concern the Delta variant could shut down their sports seasons.

To that end, Secretary Cardona later told the media: “To those folks that are making poor decisions, don’t be the reason why schools close. Don’t be the reason students don’t have a season.”

A small number of people from a group calling themselves “Kansas Patriots” protested out front, urging people not to get the vaccine. But a mother and son told us the thought they gave to their decision.

“As school was starting, we decided to go ahead and get the vaccine with all the different variants coming out as well,” Christina Genrich, a mom told 13 News as she and her son came out of the school.

Her son Matthew agreed: “I just decided to get it to just be like if I were to happen to get it to not have it as bad.”

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, USD 501 Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Anderson, and school board member Reverend John Williams also joined today’s tour.

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