PSAKI: Pelosi kissing Biden on the cheek fails to meet CDC’s ‘close contact’ ‘bar’ for COVID transmission

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed Thursday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who tested positive for the coronavirus, kissing President Biden on the cheek and holding his hand was unresponsive. to the White House definition of “close contact”.

“How can you tell President Biden wasn’t in close contact with speaker Pelosi when there’s a video of the speaker kissing him?” Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked PSAki on Thursday.

President Joe Biden kisses House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, during an Affordable Care Act event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 5, 2022. At left is the whip of House Majority James Clyburn, DS.C., and at right is Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa.  Pelosi tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently asymptomatic, her spokesperson Drew Hammill said in a tweet Thursday, April 7.
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President Joe Biden kisses House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, during an Affordable Care Act event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 5, 2022. At left is the whip of House Majority James Clyburn, DS.C., and at right is Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa. Pelosi tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently asymptomatic, her spokesperson Drew Hammill said in a tweet Thursday, April 7.
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

“Their definition is 15 minutes of contact within a defined period of time, within six feet,” Psaki replied, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of “close contact.” “He hasn’t reached that bar.”

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A spokesperson for Pelosi announced on Thursday that the Democrat from San Francisco tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday after he was spotted hugging Biden and kissing him on the cheek at a law enforcement event. affordable care in the East Room of the White House on Tuesday.

President Joe Biden speaks during the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference, Monday, March 14, 2022, in Washington.

President Joe Biden speaks during the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference, Monday, March 14, 2022, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Psaki was widely mocked by conservatives on social media who criticized her for apparently implying that Biden, 79, was not at risk of contracting the coronavirus because he was not within six feet of Pelosi for 15 minutes.

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“So basically Jen Psaki’s argument in this briefing is that if someone with COVID sneezed directly on Joe Biden, they wouldn’t be a ‘close contact’ because the sneeze lasted less than 15 minutes,” said tweeted Heritage Foundation communications director John Cooper.

“Psaki defending this cites CDC advice of ’15 minutes,'” GOP spokesman Matt Whitlock tweeted. “Two very vulnerable geriatricians can kiss each other on the face and it’s not ‘close contact’ but they still put masks on kids outside in New York?”

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stands as she welcomes Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore for talks at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 30, 2022.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stands as she welcomes Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore for talks at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 30, 2022.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The CDC did not immediately respond to a request from Fox News Digital as to whether individuals kissing each other on the cheek constituted close contact that would raise concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

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