Jill Biden visits the same children’s hospital in Costa Rica that John F. Kennedy visited in 1963, when the First Lady celebrates a new partnership against cancer

  • The visit came as Jill Biden completes a tour of goodwill across Latin America
  • Kennedy visited the National Children’s Hospital of Costa Rica and issued a personal check for the purchase of equipment for the hospital
  • Biden notes new partnership between US and Costa Rican hospitals to fight childhood cancer
  • “No country can defeat cancer alone. We all need to work harder, ”she said
  • She also presented a mural donated to the hospital, which symbolizes the relationship between the United States and Costa Rica

Jill Biden on Sunday followed in the footsteps of John F. Kennedy and visited the National Children’s Hospital of Costa Rica, where she noted a new partnership to help defeat childhood cancer.

Kennedy was the first U.S. president to visit Costa Rica, which he did in 1963, and issued a personal check for the purchase of hospital equipment.

Biden was in the hospital to highlight the new U.S.-Costa Rican collaboration.

“No country can defeat cancer alone. We all need to work harder, ”she said.

“President Kennedy once said that children are our most valuable resource … And he was right. We have a duty to take care of our children, ”she added.

Jill Biden followed in the footsteps of John F. Kennedy and visited the National Children’s Hospital of Costa Rica

At the Costa Rican First Lady Signe Zeikate (left back row), US Ambassador to Costa Rica Cynthia Teles (center left back row) Jill Biden (center center, back row) noted a new partnership to help defeat cancer in childhood

At the Costa Rican First Lady Signe Zeikate (left back row), US Ambassador to Costa Rica Cynthia Teles (center left back row) Jill Biden (center center, back row) noted a new partnership to help defeat cancer in childhood

“No country can defeat cancer alone.  We all need to work harder

“No country can defeat cancer alone. We all need to work harder, ”said Jill Biden

President John F. Kennedy issued a personal check for the purchase of equipment for the National Children's Hospital during his visit to Costa Rica in 1963.

President John F. Kennedy issued a personal check for the purchase of equipment for the National Children’s Hospital during his visit to Costa Rica in 1963.

She celebrated a partnership between the Costa Rican Health Authority and the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to help Costa Rican children gain access to cancer rescue treatment.

The cancer is of personal interest to Biden, whose son Bo died of brain cancer in 2015. After Joe and Jill Biden left the vice presidency, they created Cancer Moonshot to help fight the disease.

The reason remains close to both.

Costa Rica’s First Lady Signe Zeicate joins Biden and U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica Cynthia Teles, whose father was U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica during John Kenneth’s visit.

“It is important to note that the first lady’s visit to Costa Rica was a catalyst to complete the agreement,” said Ambassador Teles, who noted that her mother helped raise money for the hospital when her father was ambassador.

Telles noted that both Biden “were committed to finding a cure for cancer even before the launch of Cancer Moonshot in 2016.”

US First Lady Jill Biden and Costa Rican First Lady Signe Zeikate at National Children's Hospital

US First Lady Jill Biden and Costa Rican First Lady Signe Zeikate at National Children’s Hospital

Jill Biden presented a mural donated to the hospital to symbolize relations between the United States and Costa Rica

Jill Biden presented a mural donated to the hospital to symbolize relations between the United States and Costa Rica

Costa Rican First Lady Signe Zeikate and Jill Biden on the sides of the new mural;  Biden stands next to the artist who created it

Costa Rican First Lady Signe Zeikate and Jill Biden on the sides of the new mural; Biden stands next to the artist who created it

John F. Kennedy was the first U.S. president to visit Costa Rica

John F. Kennedy was the first U.S. president to visit Costa Rica

Biden also unveiled a mural donated to the hospital by the United States government to symbolize relations between the two countries.

“There are a lot of references to this relationship,” Teles said.

“My God,” Biden said when she saw it. “It’s so nice.”

It is very colorful and shows people sharing food and drink along with animals such as toucans and sloths that are native to Costa Rica.

“Today, Ambassador Teles handed the hospital a picture with a plaque that reads:“ In memory of the visit of the First Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden and in recognition of the contribution of US Ambassadors Raymond Telles and Dolphin Telles to the National Hospital de Niñas. May 22, 2022, ”the East Wing said.

In 1963, Kennedy was in Costa Rica for a summit with the presidents of six Latin American countries. The visit took place during the tenure of former US Ambassador Raymond Teles, the father of current US Ambassador Cynthia Teles.

Biden is in the final stages of a goodwill tour of the three countries in Latin America. She returns to the United States on Monday.

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