On Friday, the White House set the stage for President Joe Biden to contract the coronavirus, acknowledging it was a strong possibility.
“Like everyone else, the president could at some point test positive for COVID,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during Friday’s daily briefing.
The president has received four injections of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine and continues to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) precautions, but has stopped wearing a mask in public at the White House.
“Despite all the precautions we are taking and even with the president’s double boost, he could still test positive for COVID,” Psaki acknowledged. “[T]It’s a possibility and we want to be transparent with the American public about it.
She defended the president for hosting indoor events at the White House despite instances of the virus spreading among people attending the events, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“We are assessing the risks like everyone else in the country and it is important that he can continue to carry out his presidential duties, now and even if he tests positive in the future,” Psaki said.
She declined to say when Biden would be tested again for the virus and said that was up to the presidential doctor.
“We will provide you with the information when he tests negative…or both ways of course,” Psaki added.
She also defended the Biden administration’s welcoming of more than 100 people to the White House to celebrate the confirmation of the President’s Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson.
“Outdoors you can benefit significantly from being outdoors, which is why we held the event outdoors today,” she said.
PSAKI also defended Vice President Kamala Harris for hugging Jackson, despite coming into close contact with someone infected with the virus earlier in the week.
“She had an emotional moment, which is understandable,” she said.