CNN reporter frets over Biden getting Covid, asks Psaki what ‘running the country would look like?’

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(Video Credit: The White House)

Following White House press secretary Jen Psaki testing positive for COVID a second time, CNN’s MJ Lee put her on the spot during a press briefing Friday, asking her what would happen if President Joe Biden were to contract the virus and how it would affect his leadership.

The press briefing was Psaki’s first since testing positive. CNN’s White House correspondent pointed out that a great number of high-profile administration officials have contracted COVID which brought up the issue of what would happen if the president were to come down with it as well.

“And just one more on a separate topic. You’re obviously not the only person in the administration recently to test positive for COVID. Can you give us a sense of whether there have been discussions lately at the White House about what would happen if President Biden were to test positive for COVID?” Lee asked, evidently seeking reassurance that the chain of command would stay in place.

“Help us understand what working from home, quarantining, running the country would look like if the president were to get COVID,” she pressed.

“Well, I would first say that — this wasn’t exactly your question, but let me reiterate this point — is that we take steps over and beyond CDC recommendations and guidelines here,” Psaki responded, attempting to assure Americans that the White House is following diktats from the CDC and more.

“I would note that while I tested positive about 12 days ago if my math is correct, I waited to return to the office until I had a negative test. And that is our protocol here — or the protocol I was held to,” she remarked.

“Also, we take steps in advance of meeting the president. Anyone who’s meeting the president is going to have a test that day. And we also take social distancing steps in meetings when warranted,” Psaki explained.

“In terms of — look, we recognize that COVID-19 remains a transmissible disease, especially recent variants. And while I’m not going to get into a future hypothetical of any of our additional principals, since — since the second gentleman had tested positive — testing positive — I would note that the President of the United States can work from anywhere, can run the country from anywhere. And we have the capacity to not only prepare for that but to support anything that is needed,” she declared, indicating that Biden would still function as president even if he contracts COVID.

In March, Psaki announced that she had come down with COVID a second time but only had mild symptoms. She worked from home and then returned to the White House after a five-day isolation period and a negative COVID test.

“Today, in preparation for travel to Europe, I took a PCR test this morning. That test came back positive, which means I will be adhering to CDC guidance and no longer be traveling on the president’s trip to Europe,” Psaki said at the time in a White House statement.

Biden tested negative for COVID as his press secretary tested positive.

“I had two socially-distanced meetings with the president yesterday, and he is not considered a close contact as defined by CDC guidance. I am sharing the news of my positive test today out of an abundance of transparency,” Psaki’s statement added.


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