Friday, April 19, 2024

Psaki claims COVID exposed Harris wore mask inside before Jackson ceremony but video shows otherwise

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A video shared to President Biden’s Twitter account conflicts with Friday statements made by White House press secretary Jen Psaki that Vice President Kamala Harris, along with others, wore a face mask “before they went out” to the Rose Garden to celebrate the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.

“Yesterday, we witnessed a truly historic moment,” Biden wrote in the tweet, attaching a video that showed highlights from Friday’s events.

President Biden, along with others, including Vice President Kamala Harris and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, are seen maskless in the Oval Office.
(President Biden/Twitter @POTUS)

Portions of the video show face masks being worn inside the White House, however, at one point, footage from inside the Oval Office shows Harris, First Lady Jill Biden, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, Jackson, and members of Jackson’s family gathered around Biden without face masks.


On Friday, Psaki defended Harris after she gave Jackson a hug without a face mask after coming into close contact with her communications director who had tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Contents from the video directly conflict Psaki’s claim that “the Vice President has been wearing a mask inside” and that “when there was a private greet, they were all wearing masks, before they went out.”

Asked by Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy about the embrace between Harris and Jackson, which took place earlier on Friday at the White House ceremony, Psaki appeared to acknowledge the mistake, saying Harris “was socially distanced for 99.9% of the event today, and she had an emotional moment, which is understandable.”

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and Vice President Kamala Harris hug after the conclusion of an event on the South Lawn of the White House on April 08, 2022 in Washington, DC.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Doocy also reminded Psaki that Harris also ditched the use of a face mask while presiding over the Senate confirmation for Jackson on Thursday.

“She was playing an important role in confirming or overseeing the confirmation of the first Black woman to the Supreme Court,” Psaki said, asserting that Harris was “socially distanced from people for the vast, vast majority of her time overseeing that confirmation yesterday.”

Earlier this week, Harris’ communications director, Jamal Simmons, tested positive for COVID-19 one a day after he attended a ceremony at the White House where he was in close contact with Harris and former President Barack Obama without a mask. Simmons is isolating at home.

Former President Barack Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris depart following an event about the Affordable Care Act and lowering health care costs for families in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on April 5, 2022.
(Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


The CDC website states that vaccinated individuals who are exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive should wear a mask for 10 days when around others.

Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this article.

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