Biden to “minimize contact” on a Middle East trip: The White House


The White House said it is likely that President Joe Biden will not shake hands during his trip to the Middle East, just before Air Force One arrives in Israel.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that there were concerns about an increase in COVID-19 cases and other indicators, causing a transition to the normal protocol.

“I think the easiest way for me is now in the pandemic stage, aiming to increase masking, reduce contact, and minimize spread,” Sullivan told Air Force One. rice field. “That’s the approach we’re taking. It’s what we reveal how exactly it works in a given interaction.”

Biden tested negative for COVID-19 before leaving the United States and shook hands at a recent domestic event, according to Sullivan, but the change is “abnormal” because traveling abroad causes precautions. do not have”.

The decision was made by Biden’s doctor, White House spokesman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. She called this move “reasonable” because of the elevation of BA.4 and BA.5, two subvariants of the Omicron strain of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Early evidence shows that both BA.4 and BA.5 are more contagious than early submutants and strains, but there is evidence that either causes more serious disease. There is none.

Still, recent studies show that infectious factors mean that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus can better avoid vaccine protection. This may also apply to protection from previous infections.

Epoch Times Photo
US President Joe Biden (L) was welcomed by Israeli caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid after arriving at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport on Road near Tel Aviv on July 13, 2022. (Jack Guez / AFP via Getty Images)

The protocol changes are aimed at “minimizing contact as much as possible,” says Jean-Pierre. “It will focus on this trip.”

When Biden got off the plane in Israel, he struck his fist with some officials who greeted him. He also put his hands on multiple shoulders.

Prime Minister Yale Rapid and President Isaac Herzog were dispatched to Ben Gurion Airport.

Biden was later shown two defense systems, Iron Dome and Iron Beam, to protect Israel from attacks. He planned to visit the Jerusalem’s Yadvashem Holocaust Museum, receive inside the Israeli presidential honor, and visit American athletes competing in the Maccabiah Games.

After spending time in Israel, Biden will travel to Saudi Arabia.

Zachary Stieber


Zachary Stieber covers US and world news. He is based in Maryland.