The White House on Friday set the stage for President Joe Biden to contract the coronavirus, acknowledging it was a strong possibility.
“Like anyone else, the President may at some point test positive for COVID,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during the daily briefing on Friday.
The president has received four shots of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, and continues to follow precautions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but has stopped wearing a mask in public while at the White House.
“Despite all the precautions we take and even with the president being double boosted, he could still test positive for COVID,” Psaki acknowledged. “[T]hat is a possibility and we want to be transparent with the American public about that.”
She defended the president for hosting indoor events at the White House despite cases of the virus spreading among people attending the events, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“We risk assess just like everybody out in the country and it’s important for him to be able to continue to do his presidential duties, now and even if he tests positive for the future,” Psaki said.
She declined to say when Biden would be tested again for the virus, and said it was up to the presidential physician.
“We will provide the information to you when he tests negative… or either way of course,” Psaki added.
She also defended the Biden administration’s hosting over a hundred people at the White House to celebrate the confirmation of the president’s Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.
“Outside, you can benefit significantly being outside, that’s why we had the event outside today,” she said.
Psaki also defended Vice President Kamala Harris for hugging Jackson, despite coming into close contact with someone infected by the virus earlier in the week.
“She had an emotional moment, which is understandable,” she said.