Karine Jean-Pierre on how Biden caught COVID: ‘I don’t suppose that issues’

White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre shocked reporters Thursday when she disregarded an inquiry about how President Biden caught COVID-19, saying: “I don’t suppose that issues.”

Biden developed signs Wednesday night — lower than 4 days after he returned to Washington from a visit to Saudi Arabia — and examined optimistic Thursday morning, in line with the White Home.

You are reading: Karine Jean-Pierre on how Biden caught COVID: ‘I don’t suppose that issues’

“The place precisely was the president contaminated?” a journalist requested Jean-Pierre and White Home coronavirus coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha at a briefing targeted on the 79-year-old president’s well being.

“I don’t suppose we all know,” Jha mentioned, earlier than turning over the rostrum to Jean-Pierre.

“Look, I don’t suppose that that issues, proper? I believe what issues is we ready for this second,” the press secretary mentioned, leaving reporters slack-jawed.

“You mentioned it doesn’t matter the place he received it. However how can it not matter the place he received it?” requested CNN’s Jeff Zeleny. “That’s one thing that, after all, is concerned involved tracing, this administration has taken it very critically — how may it not matter?”

Karine Jean-Pierre
White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dismissed journalists’ questions on the place Biden contracted COVID-19.

“I believe what I used to be attempting to say is, what’s essential now’s that he has delicate signs, is that he’s working from the [White House] residence on behalf of the American folks. That’s our focus,” Jean-Pierre mentioned, earlier than including: “Look, we knew this was going to occur.”

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“What I’m attempting to say is, the second that we’re in proper now’s what issues as we’re speaking concerning the president and his remedy, and the way he’s feeling and the way he’s persevering with to work on behalf of the American public,” the press secretary claimed later in her response to Zeleny.

Biden returned from his Mideast journey round midnight Saturday and on Sunday attended a Catholic church service in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood. He had no public occasions on Monday or Tuesday, aside from a quick out of doors presentation of flowers to Ukrainian first girl Olena Zelenska. He traveled to Massachusetts on Wednesday for a worldwide warming-focused occasion shortly earlier than falling in poor health.

Joe Biden
President Biden plans to proceed working whereas he recovers and isolates.

The predominant and extremely contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19 has a median incubation interval of three to 4 days, in line with the CDC, which suggests Biden might have caught the virus throughout his journey to fix fences with Saudi Arabia’s killer crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, who Biden beforehand tried to sideline over his function within the homicide of Washington Publish columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Jha mentioned {that a} pattern of the virus that contaminated Biden is being sequenced, which may present larger perception into how and the place the president contracted the virus.

Jean-Pierre additionally refused to straight reply a reporter’s query about whether or not the federal government is getting ready to switch energy briefly to Vice President Kamala Harris ought to Biden’s situation worsen.

“The president is — has delicate signs, he’s capable of do the enterprise of the American folks from the residence and that’s what issues proper now,” she mentioned.

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Jean-Pierre and Jha additionally confronted repeated requests from journalists for a briefing with Biden’s doctor, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, to permit for extra detailed dialogue of the president’s signs and prognosis.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and COVID-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha
COVID-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha mentioned {that a} pattern of Biden’s virus is being sequenced, which helps decide the place he contracted it.
Getty Photos/Drew Angerer
The memo from the Physician to the President Dr. Kevin O'Connor
Dr. Kevin O’Connor is overseeing the president’s restoration and suspended his coronary heart medicines.
AP/Jon Elswick

In response to a Thursday morning memo from O’Connor, Biden was “experiencing delicate signs, principally rhinorrhea (or ‘runny nostril’) and fatigue, with an occasional dry cough, which began yesterday night.” The president’s voice was noticeably raspy in a video assertion launched Thursday afternoon and Jean-Pierre mentioned he additionally has a “dry throat.”

George Condon, a Nationwide Journal reporter and former president of the White Home Correspondents’ Affiliation, urged Jean-Pierre to deliver O’Connor to the briefing room.

“The query is when will Dr. O’Connor come out? As a result of to simply put out an announcement and defend him from questions could be the least transparency of any White Home in 50 years on a presidential sickness,” Condon mentioned.

“I wholeheartedly disagree in your final assertion,” Jean-Pierre mentioned. “So we’re doing this very otherwise, very otherwise than, I might argue, than the final administration, and I’m pleased to have that dialog with you.”

COVID-19 has killed greater than 1 million Individuals since March 2020. Biden has acquired 4 doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, reducing his threat, and can also be taking the treatment Paxlovid to cut back signs.

As a part of the remedy, O’Connor suspended Biden’s use of two coronary heart medicines throughout a five-day course of Paxlovid to forestall unfavorable drug interactions.

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