White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre largely drew crickets from the briefing room Monday as she attempted to make a joke.
A White House reporter asked Jean-Pierre about President Joe Biden’s condition after testing positive for COVID-19 a second time Saturday and returning to isolation.
“The day’s still young, you never know,” Jean-Pierre joked, followed by at least one chuckle in a largely quiet room.
“Just making a joke, clearly it was not funny. I will try harder next time to be more funny.”
The press secretary said Biden is continuing to work from his residence.
The president’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, said that patients prescribed Paxlovid have a small chance of undergoing a “rebound” positivity, the press secretary said. She added that he is “doing well” despite testing positive again. (RELATED: COVID Response Coordinator Ashish Jha Gives Strange Update On Biden’s Health Following COVID Diagnosis)
“He is someone who likes to be out there with the American people, he’s looking forward to being out there again,” she said. “But he’s going to continue, it doesn’t stop him from doing his job and doing the work of the American people so he is in the White House residence, and he’s going to continue to do that as he isolates for a couple more days.”
The president first tested positive July 21, immediately went into isolation and was prescribed Paxlovid. He tested negative for four days straight before receiving a rebound positive test, O’Connor wrote in a memorandum for Jean-Pierre.
Reporters expressed outrage at the White House for not having O’Connor brief the press directly following the president’s initial diagnosis. Jean-Pierre and White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Ashish Jha briefed the press throughout the week to answer questions about the president’s condition.