White House spokesperson John Kirby rejected the premise of a query from Fox News‘ Peter Doocy after the reporter suggested that President Joe Biden has “a lot of free time” this week as he recovers from a bout of Covid.
Mr Doocy asked Mr Kirby in a press briefing on Thursday why Mr Biden has not scheduled a call with Chinese president Xi Jinping considering that, as he believed, Mr Biden had plenty of available time while in isolation.
“He doesn’t have free time,” Mr Kirby responded. “He’s been working all the way through his illness, quite frankly, Peter, so it’s a little bit insulting.”
Mr Doocy interjected that his query was not insulting, however Mr Kirby doubled down.
“You suggested he had a lot of free time as if he’s not doing anything, and you know that’s not the case, Mr Doocy. Now look, as for a call with President Xi, I don’t have anything on the president’s schedule to speak to,” Mr Kirby stated. “If ever the president felt like a call with President Xi was the appropriate way to respond or that it would have an effect and an outcome that he wants to achieve, he certainly would be willing to do that.”
Mr Biden has spent the week in isolation after he examined optimistic for Covid for a second time in an obvious rebound case after taking the antiviral drug Paxlovid. The White House has stated that Mr Biden, who skilled comparatively gentle signs throughout his preliminary bout with the virus, is just not experiencing any signs this time.
The US’s relationship with China has been beneath scrutiny this week as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a member of Mr Biden’s occasion, as a result of the highest-ranking US official in a long time to go to Taiwan. Ms Pelosi’s go to in assist of Taiwanese democracy has prompted an outcry and a sequence of army workout routines from the Chinese authorities.
The New York Times reported that Biden administration officers warned Ms Pelosi that the journey might have critical diplomatic penalties all through Asia, however that the Speaker pressed forward anyway. Mr Xi has lengthy aimed to unify Taiwan with China.
Mr Kirby famous that Mr Biden has already spoken with Mr Xi on 5 separate events throughout his presidency, together with on the finish of July, and isn’t “afraid” of getting again in contact ought to the necessity come up. Mr Biden and Mr Xi’s relationship dates again years, by means of Mr Biden’s tenure as Vice President.
“If a call is the right answer, I’m sure that President Biden will do that,” Mr Kirby stated.
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