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Jen Psaki raised eyebrows when her comment at a White House press briefing about President Joe Biden’s health seemed to raise more questions than it answered.
The White House press secretary was asked at Tuesday’s briefing if the president would be tested for COVID-19 and how he was feeling “given the close contact” reportedly with a staffer who tested positive for the virus.
The White House announced Monday evening that an aide who had tested positive that day had been in close contact with Biden.
“On Monday morning, a mid-level staff member, who does not regularly have contact with the President, received a positive result for a COVID-19 test. Three days earlier, on Friday, that staff member had spent approximately 30 minutes in proximity to the President on Air Force One,” the White House said in a statement.
“This staff member is fully vaccinated and boosted, and tested negative prior to boarding Air Force One,” the statement continued, noting that Biden “received an antigen test Sunday, and tested negative.”
Biden tested negative again on Monday and is set to be checked for the virus again on Wednesday.
“So, first off, how’s the president feeling given the close contact? Is he asymptomatic? Is he doing OK?” a reporter asked Psaki at Tuesday’s briefing. “I know he is getting tested tomorrow, but can you give us an update?”
“He’s asymptomatic,” Psaki, who had tested positive for COVID back in October, replied. “I spent several hours with him this morning, and he is feeling great. And you’ll see him at the speech shortly.”
But her choice of words sparked a flurry of questions on social media:
That uh, isn’t a tested negative answer. https://t.co/szXnHmpi3W
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) December 21, 2021
It actually implies a positive test.
— Horst De Wermer, DVM, MD, PhD, GED, DDS, MOUSE (@Crapplefratz) December 21, 2021
Bizarrely, @PressSec Jen Psaki just described the president as “asymptomatic,” while later clarifying that he had not (yet) tested positive for coronavirus.
The cat is on the roof. @ScottAdamsSays
— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) December 21, 2021
Asymptomatic implies a positive https://t.co/cpQePtSb2k
— Sean Agnew (@seanagnew) December 21, 2021
What? This is poorly worded.
— K (@LAinsidernow) December 21, 2021
Tell us he’s got the rona without telling us he’s got the rona.
— Johnny Incognito (@jinco304) December 21, 2021
Many commented on the fact that Biden repeatedly coughed and sneezed during his remarks.
Despite Biden’s repeated coughing, WH says he is asymptomatic for COVID-19 pic.twitter.com/TsUr93I37f
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) December 21, 2021
It’s not exactly reassuring that Biden is coughing and hacking his way through the speech. As he lectures us about what we need to do to protect ourselves from Covid. This entire situation is unserious and untenable.
— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) December 21, 2021
Biden coughing through this speech does not inspire confidence
— Abigail Marone 🇺🇸 (@abigailmarone) December 21, 2021
The dude is coughing on TV and sounds awful in his press conference.
So he tested positive for COVID? Or not?
— Cthulhu Loves You (@EyerotGaming) December 21, 2021
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