On Thursday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre sidestepped a reporter’s question but indicated support for the Biden administration’s decision to ban tennis champion Novak Djokovic from participating in a tennis tournament in America this month due to his vaccination status.
Despite Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ petition to allow Djokovic to play in the Miami Open 2023 tournament and President Biden declaring the “pandemic is over,” Jean-Pierre reiterated the national policy is that individuals flying into the United States must show proof of vaccination.
Jean-Pierre referred reporters to the CDC, which continues to advocate for vaccinations for those six months and older, though multiple reports question their safety and efficacy.
Advocates for Djokovic, ranked the number one tennis player in the world, point to the Biden administration’s hypocrisy on the issue, as millions of illegal, unvaccinated immigrants have been allowed to cross the southern border the past two years.
Others point to the profound deficiencies in the CDC, some recognized by the leadership, and others are being spotlighted by a new House subcommittee investigating the origin and management of the COVID pandemic.
The result is the majority of Americans are losing confidence in Dr. Fauci and the judgment of the CDC.
Jean-Pierre responded to a reporter’s request for a comment on why Djokovic was denied entrance to the country by saying:
“So, on a question of regarding the vaccination requirement, I would refer you to the CDC. They’re the ones who deal with that. It’s still in place, and we expect everyone to abide by our country’s rule, whether as a participant or a spectator.”
The press secretary also pointed to the BNP Paribas Open, a notable tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California, as reportedly sharing in the decision to ban Djokovic from participating in the tournament.
“As for what goes on specifically with the BNP Open, those are questions for them,” said Jean-Pierre. “It is a private entity, and so we will let them speak to that. But again, this is something that the CDC speaks to.”
DeSantis advocated for Djokovic by sending an open letter to Biden, imploring him to “put pandemic politics aside and give the American people what they want – let [Djokovic] play.”
DeSantis added: “This denial is unfair, unscientific, and unacceptable.”
DeSantis hinted that a loophole in COVID-vaccination requirements could possibly allow Djokovic to enter the country “via boat.” Thwarting that shrewd move could prove embarrassing to Biden who many accuse of selectively imposing COVID-related restrictions.
Djokovic reported: “I’m waiting for a reply; it’s not on me… I will know soon.”
Fox News reported that Djokovic won the 2023 Australian Open in January “even though he was deported from the country in 2022 for being unvaccinated.”
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