White House refuses to clarify Joe Biden’s Covid status

Questions were raised a day after Biden’s top medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, tested positive for COVID-19.

Washington:

The White House faced intense questioning from reporters on Thursday over Joe Biden’s latest negative test for Covid-19 following a string of positive cases among senior officials with access to the president.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre repeatedly refused to tell reporters when Biden last took a test, saying only that he was sticking to a once-a-week schedule.

“He has a regular weekly cadence. I just don’t have an appointment,” Jean-Pierre said, declining to explain why she didn’t give more details, as the White House regularly did until recently.

“What we normally do is he gets tested every week and that’s his cadence,” she said, although there were “times when he was tested more than this because we travel”.

When asked if Biden had ever tested positive, she replied “no, he hasn’t. Not that I know of. We would share that.”

NBC News then quoted an unnamed official as saying Biden tested negative for Covid-19 early Thursday and also Monday. The White House would not respond to a request to confirm the report.

Biden’s top pandemic adviser, Anthony Fauci, tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday, but according to the White House he was not considered a close contact with Biden.

Earlier this week, US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra tested positive.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also revealed on Monday that he had tested positive, with his case coming just after attending a regional Americas summit with Biden in Los Angeles.

Other senior officials with frequent access to Biden who said they caught Covid this year include Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, CIA chief William Burns and Jean-Pierre.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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