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Politics Fauci says COVID protocols around Biden are 'sufficient' protection

23:40  10 april  2022
23:40  10 april  2022 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

Psaki insists Biden was not a close contact with COVID-positive Pelosi

  Psaki insists Biden was not a close contact with COVID-positive Pelosi White House press secretary Jen Psaki iinsisted President Biden was not a close contact with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has tested positive for covid, despite kiss the two sharedPsaki noted that CDC guidelines define close contact as 'is being within six feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes over a 24 hour period.

White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci insisted on Sunday that it's unlikely for President Joe Biden to be infected with COVID-19, even after attending multiple events last week where staffers and other attendees tested positive for the virus.

A recent spat of COVID infections has taken hold of Washington, DC that has hit members of the president and vice president's offices, lawmakers and Cabinet officials.

It's particularly fueled concerns that the 79-year-old president, who thus far has not been infected, could get sick.

Fauci, however, appeared mostly unconcerned about the prospect by citing the 'strong' protocols surrounding Biden and protection granted by four doses of the coronavirus vaccine -- despite worries about the commander-in-chief's age putting him in a high-risk group.

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But he did admit it was possible for Biden to catch the virus -- just days after the White House communications director said it could happen 'at some point.'

'The protocols to protect the president are pretty strong. The president is vaccinated. He is doubly boosted. He got his fourth shot of an mRNA,' Fauci told ABC News' This Week.

He added that people 'in the room with him closely for a considerable period of time' like himself and his colleagues must follow strict virus testing procedures.

President Biden's chief medical adviser explained that strict protocols along with vaccine protection make him worry less about the possibility of Biden getting COVID © Provided by Daily Mail President Biden's chief medical adviser explained that strict protocols along with vaccine protection make him worry less about the possibility of Biden getting COVID

'Yes, he is mingling there, but we feel that the protocols around the president are sufficient to protect him,' Fauci said.

Though he did admit that it was possible Biden could still catch the virus -- but dismissed fears it could lead to a serious infection.

'The fact is he could get infected. We hope he doesn't. We’d do everything we can do protect him,' the infectious disease expert said.

'But, remember, he's fully vaccinated. He's doubly boosted, and most of the time, people who get anywhere near him need to be tested. So we feel the protocol is a reasonable protocol.'

People in the White House are concerned about the possibility of the 79-year-old president being infecged © Provided by Daily Mail People in the White House are concerned about the possibility of the 79-year-old president being infecged

He also urged Congress to pass another pandemic aid package. The White House has been sending out increasingly dire warnings about the federal government's dwindling ability to help Americans through the pandemic, including running out of supplies of monoclonal antibody treatments, COVID pills and the capacity to manufacture tests.

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A $10 billion funding package that was meant to pass last week died in the Senate after Republicans demanded that an amendment be added stopping Biden from lifting Trump-era migrant expulsion policy Title 42.

Meanwhile the Omicron subvariant known as BA.2 is spreading like wildfire through the country after wreaking havoc in Asian and Europe.

'I hope the Congress comes through and gives us the resources, so that as we get into what might be another surge, that we're prepared with all of the tools that we need to address it,' Fauci said.

'And right now if we don't get that support ... we're not going to be ready for it.'

It comes after First Lady Jill Biden's press secretary became the latest positive case to strike the administration.

The news broke as the Biden administration prepared to hold a massive celebration on the South Lawn Friday to mark Ketanji Brown Jackson's confirmation to the Supreme Court, an event they defended as being outdoors and at a time when many people are vaccinated.

White House communications director Kate Bedingfield told CNN that it's certainly possible Biden will get COVID at some point, but noted that he's vaccinated and double boosted so a severe case is unlikely.

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The admission comes as more people with access to the president -- including Cabinet officials, lawmakers and his sister -- have tested positive for the virus.

'We take precautions to ensure that the president is protected. But I do think it’s important to note that, you know, it is possible he will test positive for COVID at some point,' Bedingfield said Friday morning. 'The president is vaccinated and double-boosted and so, protected from severe COVID.'

The White House conceded that President Joe Biden could get COVID; 'It is possible he will test positive for COVID at some point,' communications director Kate Bedingfield told CNN © Provided by Daily Mail The White House conceded that President Joe Biden could get COVID; 'It is possible he will test positive for COVID at some point,' communications director Kate Bedingfield told CNN Jill Biden press secretary Michael LaRosa tested positive for COVID- becoming the latest case in the administration © Provided by Daily Mail Jill Biden press secretary Michael LaRosa tested positive for COVID- becoming the latest case in the administration

'The president is certainly living his life. Just as, as you say, all Americans across the country are while taking precautions,' she noted.


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Meanwhile, Jill Biden's press secretary Michael LaRosa tested positive for COVID on Thursday. He attended Saturday's white-tie Gridiron dinner, which has become a super spreader event with many in attendance later testing positive for COVID.

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LaRosa had been out of the office and then tested when he was deemed a close contact to someone. His PRC test came back positive. Because he was not in the East Wing this week he was not deemed a close contact to the first lady.

The diagnosis is the latest in a series of cases that have struck the Biden administration, lawmakers on Capitol Hill and the D.C. press corps.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi tested positive on Thursday as did two senators who were on the Senate floor to vote to confirm Jackson to the high court - Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia.

President Joe Biden and Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson watch as the Senate votes on her confirmation from the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Thursday © Provided by Daily Mail President Joe Biden and Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson watch as the Senate votes on her confirmation from the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Thursday White House press secretary Jen Psaki spent the majority of Thursday's press briefing defending the White House announcement that Biden was not in close contact with the speaker and repeatedly explaining the protocols the administration has in place to keep Biden from getting infected © Provided by Daily Mail White House press secretary Jen Psaki spent the majority of Thursday's press briefing defending the White House announcement that Biden was not in close contact with the speaker and repeatedly explaining the protocols the administration has in place to keep Biden from getting infected

The White House lifted its face mask policy after the case rate went down for the Washington D.C. area.

The outdoor event to honor Judge Jackson came after some guests at Tuesday and Wednesday's indoor White House events tested positive for COVID- including Speaker Pelosi and Kamala Harris' communications director Jamal Simmons.

The vice president was considered a close contact to Simmons.

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Harris was at Tuesday's event celebrating the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, as was Pelosi. Pelosi hugged both Biden and former President Barack Obama, who was in attendance. Obama also hugged Simmons, who later announced his positive COVID diagnosis.

Biden was not deemed a close contact to Pelosi because, the White House said, he did not meet the CDC guidelines of being within six feet of her for more than 15 minutes.

'It did not meet that bar,' Psaki said of Biden and Pelosi's time together.

The tightening circle of positive cases around the president led to the repeated questions to Psaki about his safety and health.

She spent most of Thursday's press briefing defending the administration's protocols to keep Biden healthy.

Pskai said there were no plans to change COVID protocols or reinstate a face mask policy for the White House.

'We expected there to be ups and downs and increases,' she said of the case rate.

She said there were no plans to test the president daily. Biden tested negative for COVID on Wednesday evening and is tested regularly.

'That would be a decision made by his doctor, but that is not deemed to be necessary at this point,' Psaki said.

The past week has seen an uptick in positive tests - particularly among people who have access to Biden, leading to the questions about the policies in place to keep the 79-year-old from getting infected.

In addition to Pelosi, lawmakers, two cabinet officials and several members of the White House press corps tested positive for COVID following Saturday's Gridiron dinner - a white tie gathering of D.C. elite - and after a goodbye party for former National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne late last week.

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Psaki said there were strict policies in place at the White House to protect the president and other principals.

'We have incredibly stringent protocols here at the White House that we keep in place to keep the president safe. to keep everybody safe. Those go over and above CDC guidelines,' she said.

She noted that senior staff are tested regularly and that anyone meeting with the president is tested.

'If you're going to see him in person, whether you're traveling with him or you're meeting in the Oval Office, you will be tested,' she noted.

Pelosi was not at Saturday night's Gridiron dinner, a white-tie event of Washington media and officials.

The Gridiron Club dinner is an off-camera, off-the-record event for members of the media. Politicians and other a-list figures are invited to its annual dinner.

The event features a Republican speaker, a Democratic speaker, and a speaker representing the sitting administration, along with a series of sketches performed by club members.

But Biden's sister Valerie Biden Owens, 76, was at the Gridiron dinner and tested positive for COVID, her publisher announced on Thursday. A planned party for her memoir was canceled and her publisher said she is not a close contact with the president or first lady.

Several members of Biden's cabinet and lawmakers who were at the dinner later tested positive including: Attorney General Merrick Garland, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Senator Collins, and Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Joaquin Castro.

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The Marshall plan: Senator proposes 'Fauci Act' for financial records .
Senator Marshall said he would propose a bill which would require the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) to provide the financial records for government officials whose information is not already public. The legislation, titled the Financial Accountability for Uniquely Compensated Individuals (FAUCI) Act, came after Marshall and Fauci had a heated back-and-forth during which the doctor called the senator a 'moron'.

usr: 1
This is interesting!