Thursday, July 22, 2021

Psaki dodges on whether White House would have disclosed positive COVID-19 cases if press hadn't scooped it

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki sidestepped a question Wednesday regarding whether the Biden administration would have publicly disclosed a vaccinated staffer’s recent breakthrough COVID-19 case if it hadn’t been reported in the press.

Psaki confirmed Tuesday there have been multiple breakthrough positive COVID-19 test results among vaccinated staffers, shortly after news outlet Axios reported that an unnamed White House official and a staffer for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had tested positive following an event last week.

When asked during a press gaggle Wednesday if the White House would have disclosed the case regardless of Axios’ report, Psaki did not directly respond. She said the White House will disclose cases involving individuals who were in close contact with top officials going forward.

"Because of our commitment to transparency, what we’re going to be providing moving forward are updates on any White House official who tests positive for COVID-19 that the White House medical unit deems as having close contact with the president, vice president, first lady, or second gentleman," Psaki said. "That will be up to the White House medical unit based on the criteria of the CDC."

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