White House doc and spox cornered and unprepared; hit with Kamala Harris violating CDC guidelines

The White House press podium is a difficult place to be, what with all those pesky questions nosy reporters always ask and all, so when the president tests positive for COVID and the vice president flagrantly violates CDC guidelines, it’s no wonder White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and the White House’s Coronavirus Response Coordinator are forced to either shut those reporters down or dance like Baryshnikov doing Don Quixote.

Jean-Pierre and Dr. Ashish Jha did both during Friday’s briefing, and Twitter promptly erupted.

President Joe Biden’s positive COVID-19 test naturally sparked questions and concern, especially given that the White House physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor has yet to face the press and answer their inquiries.

Asked by one reporter, “Why are we not hearing from Dr. O’Connor” on the president’s condition, Jean-Pierre was not about to be bullied into giving an informative answer.

Instead, she insisted that O’Connor has spoken, and that should be good enough.

“Yesterday, we had a difficult time comparing the description of the symptom progression from Dr. O’Connor’s letter versus how you all laid it out in the briefing room, and then, Dr. Jha, you did some interviews this morning, but your last update from the president was at 10 o’clock the night before,” a reporter dared to say.

“A couple of hours ago, at 11 o’clock, you got a detailed letter from Dr. O’Connor,” Jean-Pierre informed the reporter. “We’ve given you two letters from Dr. O’Connor, and you’ve heard directly from him.”

“No, we haven’t,” another reporter corrected the press secretary.

“Yes you have!” she snapped back. “You’ve heard from the letter. That is hearing directly from him. We’re not playing telephone here, you’re hearing directly from the physician.”

The reporter pressed the point and had the audacity to say a letter isn’t the same as hearing directly from someone.

“Yes, it is!” Jean-Pierre insisted. “I mean, that is hearing directly from — in his words! In his words, you are hearing directly from Dr. O’Connor as I read out.”

You got that, silly reporter? The edict was issued. O’Connor has spoken. Show some gratitude!

With a wave of her hand, the journalist was dismissed by the person whose one job is to talk to the press.

Shutdown completed, it was time to dance when Jean-Pierre and Jha were asked about the VP’s complete disregard for CDC guidelines during a Friday event.

Sadly, it looked a lot more like the Hokey-Pokey than a stunning pirouette.

It’s not easy to be graceful when Kamala Harris, who is obviously in close contact with the infected leader of the free world, goes around maskless and hugging people.

“She just spoke at a conference in D.C. and she hugged someone without a mask on,” the reporter noted. “She was also maskless for most of that conversation.”

Speaking to Dr. Jha, the reporter asked, “Would you have recommended that she keep her mask on, given that that is the CDC guidelines?”

Cue the discordant music.

“You know, I– I think — I– I– I’m not sure what– I have not been tracking the Vice President’s activities, so I don’t have anything specific to say about– uhhhh— what she did,” was the reply from Dr. Jha, who went on to explain that it’s totally different when Kamala Harris breaks the rules.

“My understanding is that the vice president is following CDC guidelines on close contact,” he said. “She’s also recently been infected, so, within the 90 days of a previous infection, so–”

Jha then turned to Jean-Pierre to bail him out, but that’s a lot like work, so with a shrug, the press sec. stated she had nothing to offer to the conversation.

The reporter pressed on, saying Harris clearly isn’t following the guidelines if she’s out “hugging someone without a mask on.”

“I think the CDC guidance is clear,” the abandoned Jha stated. “The problem is me commenting on what the vice president did when I wasn’t actually– I haven’t seen it or I don’t actually know what happened is very, very difficult.”

The reporter then pointed out that you don’t actually have to see it to comment.

And that’s when Jha opted to “shake it all about.”

“See, usually when we think about people having contact, it’s for an extended period of time,” he desperately tried to explain, as Jean-Pierre stared at him with her hands clasped.

Deflated, Jha said, “Again, I didn’t see the hug. I don’t know how long the hug lasted. Uhhh… but it’s very hard for me to comment on something I really didn’t see.”

Online, the clumsy exchange was seen as just another example of Dems not playing by their own rules as their narrative crashes around them.

 

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Melissa Fine

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