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Jill Biden visits same Costa Rica hosptial that JFK visited in 1963

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 5/22/2022 Emily Goodin, Senior U.S. Political Reporter In San Jose, Costa Rica For Dailymail.Com

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

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

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

'No country can defeat cancer alone. It takes all of us working tougher,' she said.

'President Kennedy once said children are our most valuable resource …. And he was right. We have an obligation to care for our children,' she added. 

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

Jill Biden followed in the footsteps of John F. Kennedy and visited the National Children's Hospital of Costa Rica
© Provided by Daily Mail

She was celebrating a partnership between Costa Rica's public health authority and the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, which will help Costa Rican children access a lifesaving cancer treatment.

Cancer is a personal interest to Biden, whose son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015. After Joe and Jill Biden left the vice presidency, they established the Cancer Moonshot to help combat the disease. 

The cause remains close to both of them. 


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Biden was joined on the visit by Costa Rican first lady Signe Zeicate and US Ambassador to Costa Rica Cynthia Telles, whose father was US Ambassador to Costa Rica during JFK's visit.

'It's important to note that the first lady's visit to Costa Rica was the catalyst for finalizing the agreement,' said Ambassador Telles, who noted her mother helped raised money for the hospital when her dad was ambassador.

Telles noted both Bidens were 'committed to finding a cure for cancer even before the launch of the Cancer Moonshot in 2016.' 

U.S. first lady Jill Biden and Costa Rican first lady Signe Zeicate at the National Children's Hospital 

U.S. first lady Jill Biden and Costa Rican first lady Signe Zeicate at the National Children's Hospital 
© Provided by Daily Mail

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

'There are many references to that relationship across it,' Telles said.

'Oh my goodness,' Biden said when she saw it. 'It's so nice.'

It's very colorful and shows people sharing food and drink along with animals - like toucans and sloths - that are native of Costa Rica.

'Today, Ambassador Telles gifted to the hospital a painting with a plaque that reads: In commemoration of the visit of the First Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden and in recognition of the contributions of U.S. Ambassador Raymond Telles and Delfina Telles to the Hospital Nacional de de Niños. May 22, 2022,' the East Wing said.

In 1963, Kennedy was in Costa Rica to summit with the presidents of six countries in Latin America. The visit occurred during the tenure of former U.S. Ambassador Raymond Telles, the father of current U.S. Ambassador Cynthia Telles.

Biden is on the last leg of a three-country goodwill tour to Latin America.  She returns to the United States on Monday.

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