WH Won’t Say Whether There’s a Plan in Place to Transfer Power to VP Harris Just in Case

By Melanie Arter | July 21, 2022 | 7:50pm EDT
First Lady Jill Biden, US President Joe Biden and US Vice President Kamala Harris, arrive for the White House Congressional Picnic on July 12, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
First Lady Jill Biden, US President Joe Biden and US Vice President Kamala Harris, arrive for the White House Congressional Picnic on July 12, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre wouldn’t say Thursday whether there is a plan in place to transfer power to Vice President Kamala Harris if President Joe Biden’s condition gets worse.

As CNSNews.com reported, the president tested positive for COVID Thursday morning. He had planned to travel to Wilkes-Barre, Pa., to give a speech on gun violence, but had to cancel. Instead, he’s working from the White House residence, the White House said.


“On the vice president, is there a plan in place to transfer power to Vice President Harris if the president gets worse?” a reporter asked at the end of the White House press briefing.

“The president has mild symptoms. He’s able to do the business of the American people from the residence, and that’s what matters right now,” the press secretary said.

“So there’s no plan in place then?” the reporter followed up, but Jean-Pierre left the room without answering.

The White House released a letter from the president’s doctor, saying that Biden was experiencing mild symptoms, including fatigue, a dry cough, and a runny nose, which started Wednesday.

Neither Dr. Kevin O’Connor nor COVID Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha have seen the president in person, because they are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Biden to isolate and have “minimal contact with the president,” the press secretary said.

“Let me follow on Dr. O’Connor. Neither of you has seen the president today. Neither of you is treating the president. The question is when will Dr. O’Connor come out, because to just put out a statement and shield him from questions would be the least transparency of any White House in 50 years of a presidential illness?” a reporter asked.

“Wow! I wholeheartedly disagree on your last statement, wholeheartedly disagree on your last statement. So we are doing this very differently, very differently I would argue than the last administration, and I’m happy to have that conversation with you,” the press secretary said.

“Number one, we did not see the president, because we are following CDC guidance, and the CDC guidance is to make sure that we have minimal contact with the president and allow him to isolate and allow him to get his treatment to get better, right? He’s having, again, mild symptoms and is able to work from home,” Jean-Pierre said.

“I think, I believe, we believe getting direct information, pretty much detailed information from this letter that we in a transparent way shared with all of you on how he is doing, and we have committed to do that every day,” she said.

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