White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated their usual talking points when asked where President Biden may have contracted COVID, saying that it doesn’t matter and all that matters is that he is fully vaccinated and double boosted.
On Thursday morning, the president tested positive for COVID-19, the White House announced. He is experiencing mild symptoms, including a runny nose, occasional dry cough and fatigue.
Reporters asked Dr. Ashish Jha, White House coronavirus response coordinator, where Biden may have caught the virus. Jha told reporters he didn’t know, and Jean-Pierre interjected to say it’s not important.
“Look, I don’t think that that matters, right? I think what matters is we prepared for this moment,” she said.
“You said it doesn’t matter where he got it. But how can it not matter where he got it?” asked CNN’s Jeff Zeleny. “That is something that, of course, is involved in contact tracing, this administration has taken it very seriously — how could it not matter?”
“I think what I was trying to say is, what’s important now is that he has mild symptoms, is that he is working from the [White House] residence on behalf of the American people. That’s our focus,” Jean-Pierre said, before adding: “Look, we knew this was going to happen.”
“I think what matters is what Dr. Jha just laid out. If we look at where we were a year and a half ago, this is a president, when he walked in, one of his first priorities was to make sure we had a comprehensive plan to get people vaccinated,” she continued. “And so now we look to today, more and more people are getting closer to having a more normal life, vaccines are available.
“And as Dr. Jha said, if you have not gotten vaccinated, please do,” Jean-Pierre added. “If you have not gotten boosted, please do. These are treatments that are going to keep you safe. And I think that’s what matters here, is making sure that we continue to do the work. And the good thing is that the president, again, has been vaccinated and double boosted.”
Prior to Thursday’s test, Biden had been tested on Tuesday and had a negative result. Yesterday, Biden traveled on Air Force One to Massachusetts with top administration officials as well as Massachusetts Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren and Reps. Jake Auchincloss and Bill Keating.
After the announcement, A tweet came from Biden’s official Twitter account. “Folks, I’m doing great. Thanks for your concern,” the tweet read. “Just called Senator Casey, Congressman Cartwright, and Mayor Cognetti (and my Scranton cousins!) to send my regrets for missing our event today. Keeping busy!”
Biden later posted a video, in which he thanked his supporters and told them that he was doing fine and would continue to keep working.
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