New York Post White House correspondent Steven Nelson stunned NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby when he asked if President Joe Biden‘s recent bout with Covid resulted from deliberate action by Saudi Arabia.
Just a week after testing positive for Covid, President Biden appeared in the Rose Garden to mark his recovery from the disease and extoll the vaccinations and medicines that aided it. And during the week he was sick, media interest was so intense that it may have seemed that no stone was left unturned on the subject.
But at Wednesday’s White House press briefing, Nelson found the underside of a stone that no one saw coming, asking a stunned Kirby — who joined White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to assist with the Russia prisoner-swap news — if the United States has considered the possibility that “the Saudi government may have deliberately exposed the President to the coronavirus”:
MR. NELSON: Regarding Saudi Arabia, President Biden may have began to have — may have begun to have symptoms about four days after returning from Saudi Arabia. Has the U.S. government ruled out the possibility that the Saudi government may have deliberately exposed the President to the coronavirus?
MR. KIRBY: I think I should ref- — refer to Karine on tha question, in terms of talking about the President’s medical condition. That’s out of my scope.
MR. NELSON: Were there any considerations —
MR. KIRBY: But — but — but — but I don’t know where this idea is coming from. I don’t know what prompted you to ask it that way.
But the idea that a foreign nation-state would — would deliberately try to infect the President of the United States with a virus is just ludicrous — just absolutely ludicrous. There’s nothing to it. And it should be treated as the — as the ridiculous idea that — that it is.
Nelson has a knack for this. He’s also responsible for the now-infamous exchange in which then-Press Secretary Jen Psaki had to weigh in on whether or not President Biden had plans to kill his dog.