During Friday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was repeatedly asked about President Joe Biden’s recent apparent cold.
First, a reporter asked Psaki about Biden’s COVID testing regimen: “I know Dr. O’Connor said that he was tested three times this week, but is there a change in protocol where he is going to be tested daily?”
Psaki replied, saying that the White House “just put out some details” from Biden’s doctor regarding “how many times he’s been tested,” adding that the president is not being tested daily.
A second reporter followed up, claiming that Biden “did say he was tested every day for COVID,” and asking, “so did he just misspeak there?” Psaki again pointed to the “transparent note” released by the White House.
Finally, Fox News’ Peter Doocy questioned Psaki on the etiquette relating to going to work with symptomatic illness, as well as COVID tests potentially producing false negatives.
“One more topic, to follow up on some of the questions from earlier. The president was hoarse and coughing today. A lot of people in the workforce are encouraged not to go to work if they are exhibiting those symptoms, even if they are fully-vaccinated,” Doocy stated. “So, are the rules different for the president?”
The president, again, was tested, as we put out in some — in a transparent piece of information from his doctor, where he received a response quickly from that test, enable him — enabling him to proceed. People also had — he had a cold, which is what you know from the information put out by the doctor.
“But as you know from your own experience, it is possible to test negative several times before there’s a positive test,” Doocy pressed. “So is there any concern about having him at work while he’s got these symptoms, even if he is showing negative tests?”
“I can assure you that the president follows every protocol,” Psaki responded. “He wants to keep everyone safe in the White House. And that’s why, obviously, he — we consult with the doctor and we put out that information to make it available to all of you.”
Earlier in the day, during a press briefing on the November jobs report, President Biden was asked about his voice sounding horse.
“First of all, Mr. President, your voice sounds a little different,” a reporter said. “Are you okay?”
I’m okay. I have a test every day to see — a COVID test. I — they check me for all the strains. What I have is a one-and-a-half-year-old grandson who had a cold, who likes to kiss his Pop. And he’d been kissing my — anyway, so — but it’s just a cold.
White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor released a statement regarding Biden’s cold, which reads in part: “Investigation has included a comprehensive respiratory panel which includes 19 common respiratory pathogens, to include COVID-19, other coronaviruses, influenza, streptococcus, to name a few. … All of these tests were negative. Including the above, he has been tested for COVID-19 three times this week.”
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