‘The residence has life again’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 27, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:35 AM, January 27, 2021

‘The residence has life again’

White House staff welcomes new first family

The new President and first lady settled in at the White House this weekend, and did so with extended Biden family members.

"The residence has life in it again," a White House source told CNN of the energy inside. "It's the honeymoon period where everything feels new."

There were nighttime movie binges in the White House movie theater, complete with snacks from the White House kitchen cooks, many of the Bidens' five older grandchildren piling into the seats to watch, said another source familiar with the activities. The increased activity was met with pandemic precautions, including mask wearing.

On Sunday, the first dogs arrived from Delaware, where they had been waiting until things were unpacked and settled enough to allow a comfortable entry for the two German Shepherds at their new pad.

"Champ is enjoying his new dog bed by fireplace and Major loved running around the South Lawn," the White House said a press release early Monday morning. Champ lived at the vice president's residence during the Biden's time there, and Major was adopted by the family in 2018 from a Delaware pet rescue.

Sunday saw a church-and-bagel run by the President, son Hunter and granddaughters Finnegan and Maisy. The narrow streets of Georgetown were clogged with motorcade vehicles while Hunter ran to grab bagels from Call Your Mother, a popular deli. (The choice of stop was tinged with a shmear of swamp: one of Call Your Mother's owners and investors is Jeff Zients, Biden's Covid "czar." According to the Washingtonian, much of the recipe-testing for the deli's first location was done in Zients' kitchen.)

Biden's visit to a DC dining establishment on Day 5 of his presidency already ties him with the number of local restaurants former President Donald Trump visited. In his four years in Washington, Trump seldom ate out and when he did, only did so at one place -- the steakhouse at the Trump hotel.

Yet all of the new people in the White House residence meant more stringent Covid-19 precautions, a stark reminder of the pandemic amid a week of celebratory events.

"The family was good about it," said the White House source of adherence to mask-wearing and being socially distant from staffers.

"Every employee is masked especially when near the family," added a longtime residence staff member who said the Biden family does remove their masks once on the second floor of their private quarters.

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