White House press secretary Jen Psaki maintained Wednesday that it wouldn’t be a failure of the precautions in place to protect President Biden if he were to contract COVID-19, a situation that the White House has recently acknowledged could happen.
“No,” Psaki said during an event Wednesday evening when asked if she would consider Biden contracting COVID-19 a failure of all of the protocols that have been put in place.
“We want the public to understand that he could get COVID. He is double-boosted, we know that being boosted and certainly double-boosted significantly increases your protection from hospitalization and death by many, many decibels. But, it is possible he could,” she said on a Bipartisan Policy Center panel hosted by NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell.
The White House first acknowledged that Biden could get COVID-19 amid an uptick in positive cases surrounding the president earlier this month, though officials have stressed that he is vaccinated.
Psaki on Wednesday did not outline a specific plan for if Biden were to get COVID-19, beyond that it would be communicated to the public.
“We wanted to be clear and transparent with the public that he could test positive for COVID. He does have access to the best health and medical care. There is no secret drug he is taking. He’s not immunocompromised — people ask that a lot, I don’t know why. But, if he does test positive for COVID we will tell you and everybody about it,” she said.
The White House press secretary has been asked in recent weeks about if Biden receives drugs for people who are immunocompromised, including prophylaxis, in light of his exposure to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who contracted COVID-19 two weeks ago.
Psaki pivoted away from a question on whether it is a national security event if the president were to get COVID-19, noting Biden can work from anywhere.
“Here’s what I would say: The doctors, he’s got the access of the best health care and medical care in the world. They have assessed that the risk is worth him going out and traveling this week in the country and doing that,” she said. “They have assessed and we know that he can be president wherever he is, that is what the United States prepares any president for.”
The president’s travel has picked up over the past two weeks. Biden on Tuesday traveled to New Hampshire and on Thursday and Friday has planned trips to Oregon and Washington, respectively.