Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy sparred Friday with White House press secretary Jen Psaki over Vice President Kamala Harris not wearing a mask after COVID-19 exposure.
Doocy asked if there was “a carveout” in regulations put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the vice president after Harris hugged newly-confirmed Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. The CDC recommends that individuals who are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines and exposed to virus should wear a “well-fitting” mask for 10 days and get tested at least 5 days after exposure.
“You mean when she gave her a hug outside?” Psaki said.
“Yes,” Doocy said.
“She was outside—” the press secretary began.
“Does the CDC say the people who are in close contact can give people hugs outside?” Doocy pressed. (RELATED: Doocy And Psaki Spar Over Florida’s Parental Rights Bill)
Psaki said the Friday event celebrating Jackson was held outside since it is beneficial in helping protecting against the spread of the virus. She said Harris wore a mask indoors during a “private greet.”
A top aid for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that Pelosi had tested positive for COVID-19. The announcement of her positive test result came after she was in contact with Biden, Harris, and former President Barack Obama at a White House event Tuesday where the president signed an executive order to strengthen the Affordable Care Act.
Harris had been in close contact her communications director, Jamal Simmons, who tested positive Wednesday. A Wednesday statement from the White House said Harris “will follow CDC guidance for those that have been in contact with a positive individual.”
Doocy then pointed out that Harris did not wear a mask on the Senate floor Thursday during the confirmation vote.
“She was playing an important role in overseeing the confirmation of the first black woman to the Supreme Court,” Psaki said. “The vast majority, as was on camera, Peter, as was on camera, let me finish my answer here because Fox — I don’t know that Fox carried it — but others did, saw that she was socially distant from people for the vast, vast majority of her time overseeing that confirmation yesterday.”
“So this isn’t a case of rules for thee but not for VP?” Doocy said. Psaki reiterated that Harris wore a mask indoors with President Joe Biden and her staff and remained socially distant from people at the event for the majority of the time.
“She had an emotional moment which is understandable,” the press secretary concluded.