Joe Biden writes to Toy Show star Adam King in praise of his virtual hugs

US President praises Cork boy’s idea as a ‘wonderful symbol of hope’ during pandemic

United States President Joe Biden has written to six-year-old Adam King, praising him for the great work introducing his "virtual hugs" to the nation and the world during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Adam appeared on the RTÉ Toy Show last year, and his drawing of a "virtual hug" he had made for host Ryan Tubridy quickly went viral online.

Some €250,000 was later raised for Cork University Hospital Charity and Children’s Health Foundation Temple Street, through the sale of Valentine’s Day cards based on the virtual hug concept.

The young boy from Cork was back on the RTÉ Late Late Show on Friday, along with his family, where they shared news of a card he had received.


Mr Biden had written to Adam last month, to send him his “best wishes” from the White House.

"On St Patrick's Day your Taoiseach Micheál Martin told me about the great work you have been doing, and most importantly your virtual hugs," Mr Biden wrote.

“They are a wonderful symbol of hope and joy, and have helped many people during these difficult times,” he said.

“You have already inspired the Irish people and the world with your message of connection, I hope you continue to share love and virtual hugs around the world,” he said.

Adam has spent much of his life being treated in hospital, having been born with a rare genetic condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, commonly known as brittle bones.

He has previously spoken about his love of space, and how it is his dream to become a Capcom, the astronaut on earth who communicates with the crew in the spacecraft.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin hand delivered the letter from the US President to the King house in recent weeks.

Speaking on the Late Late Show, Adam said Mr Biden had told him to “work hard in school,” in order to pursue his dream of becoming a Capcom.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times