Biden kicks off summer holiday in South Carolina

Family gathers on Kiawah Island on heels of US president's political wins and recovery from Covid

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US President Joe Biden on Thursday began a family holiday on a secluded South Carolina island.

The getaway comes days after ending a more than two-week isolation due to a Covid-19 infection. The president tested negative several times before the trip though he reportedly still has a slight cough.

The 16-kilometre island is home to popular public beaches as well as a private beach and golf resort, and only 1,700 residents.

A White House official told AP that the US president will stay at a friend's private home and that his family has stayed there in the past.

Hunter Biden and Melissa Cohen, the president's son and daughter-in-law, are joining the presidential couple on the holiday, along with their son, Beau.

President Joe Biden walks with his grandson Beau to board Air Force One for a beach vacation on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. AFP

Mr Biden is embarking on his holiday after several recent political wins, including the announcement of the death of Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri in a strike in Afghanistan, continually lower petrol prices nationwide and gaining congressional support for a historic economic package.

He arrived in South Carolina on Wednesday fresh from signing the Nato accession protocols for Sweden and Finland, the Pact Act — which protects veterans from burn pit exposure — and the Chips Act, which aims to boost semiconductor production.

Both Hunter and Beau attended the signing ceremony for the Pact Act, which took place in the East Room at the White House.

The Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina. Photo: The Kiawah Island Golf Resort

The White House has not stated how long the holiday will last, as the Biden administration is waiting for Congress to fully pass the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Senate passed the tax, climate and health bill and it is expected to be passed in the House as well sometime this week, but Mr Biden's trip could delay a bill signing.

Mr Biden frequented Kiawah Island when he served as vice president under Barack Obama, but hasn't returned since he started his presidency, Reuters reported.

The Kiawah Island Golf Resort, the mainstay on the island, has hosted the 1997 and 2003 World Cups and several PGA championships, most recently in 2021.

It has landed on Travel + Leisure magazine's list of top 500 hotels in the world.

President Biden signs historic Pact Act into law — in pictures

Updated: August 11, 2022, 6:32 PM
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