Former first ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama joined forces in a message of thanks that aired during Saturday’s “One World: Together at Home” concert, which raised money for coronavirus relief efforts for the World Health Organization.
Bush and Obama paid tribute to the people giving their all during the pandemic with a video message.
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“The spirit and courage of the American people is most evident in times of crisis,” Bush said. “And during this difficult period of physical separation, we’ve never been closer. Not just in our brave country, but tonight we stand with the people of the world.”
“Laura and I want to express our overwhelming gratitude to the medical professionals, first responders and so many others on the front lines risking their lives on our behalf,” Obama followed.
“And we’re thankful for our pharmacists, the veterinarians, the police officers, the sanitation workers and those of you working in grocery stores or delivering food or supplies to our homes,” Bush said. “You’re the fabric of our country, and your strength will carry us through this crisis.”
Obama also urged people to remember that we will persevere through this uncertain time.
“The coming days will not be easy, but this global family of ours is strong,” she said. “We will continue to be here for one another, and we will get through this crisis together. Thank you.”
The appearance was especially exciting for Bush, her daughter TODAY's Jenna Bush Hager revealed. Jenna was asked to help book her mother for the event.
"I called her, and I said, 'Mom, this is going to be really cool. Everybody wants to hear your voice. It's reassuring,'" Jenna told her TODAY with Jenna & Hoda co-host Hoda Kotb. She added that her mother agreed but was worried because her hair was going grey during quarantine.
"So she got hair dye, and my sister dyed her hair," Jenna recalled as Hoda laughed.
"You know who the camera man was on that really beautiful piece of work?" Jenna continued. "My dad! ... (My mom) was like, 'I'm not sure we have the technical capabilities, and I'm like, 'All you need is an iPhone and a camera man,' and she's like, 'OK, I'll ask Bushie,' and that was that."
Logistics aside, the power of the message came from its political unity, Jenna said.
"It wasn't so long ago when people from different political parties could all be on the same team, and I think everybody wants to help out in this time," she explained. "It doesn't matter if you're a Republican or a Democrat ... Let's put some of these labels away and just help out."
Obama agreed with this sentiment in an interview during TODAY with Hoda & Jenna late last year.
“Our values are the same," she told Jenna of her friendship with Jenna's dad, former President George W. Bush. "We disagree on policy, but we don't disagree on humanity. We don't disagree about love and compassion."