First lady gifts frontline workers with collectible Easter eggs

Easter eggs

Grouping of Clinton-era White House Easter eggs used at the Easter Egg Roll from (right to left) 1996-1999, respectively. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and Alexander Historical Auctions

WASHINGTON (AP) – Melania Trump has been spreading some colorful Easter cheer to workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

With the annual White House Easter Egg Roll canceled due to concerns about large gatherings, the first lady has given 25,000 commemorative wooden eggs to area children’s hospitals, federal agencies, aid groups and grocery store chains.

The pastel-colored eggs would have been handed out to participants in the egg roll on April 13, the day after Easter.

The eggs were delivered Wednesday and Thursday to Children’s National Hospital, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, the American Red Cross and local grocery store chains as a “small token of appreciation” for those serving the public, her office said.

Easter eggs

The backs of White House Easter eggs are imprinted with the signatures of the president and first lady, in this case Bill Clinton and Hilary Rodham Clinton. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and Alexander Historical Auctions

Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association, said this year’s eggs, made by Maine Wood Concepts, “are particularly unique.”

“They’ll be collector’s items,” he said. “They’re for an event that will never take place.”

The Easter Egg Roll has been canceled only 17 times since the event started in 1878. Those cancellations were because of wars, White House renovations, bad weather — and now a pandemic, he said.

Earlier Wednesday, the first lady released a brief video message thanking medical professionals and others on the front lines of the response to the virus.

“It is because of you that the people of America are receiving the care and treatment they need,” she says in the video on behalf of herself and President Donald Trump. “We stand united with you and we salute your courageous and compassionate efforts. Our prayers are with all who are fighting this invisible enemy, COVID-19.”

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By DARLENE SUPERVILLE
Associated Press

AP Writer David Sharp in Portland, Maine, contributed to this report.

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