Although the Biden administration insists it is cracking down on “misinformation” amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the vice president’s staff is facing accusations that it has engaged in a disinformation campaign of its own.
While a statement declared that Vice President Kamala Harris did not require a COVID-19 test after coming into contact with individuals infected with the virus, a recent report indicates she actually did take one.
“There was no detection of COVID-19”
Since a group of Texas Democrats arrived in the nation’s capital, a handful of infected lawmakers have reportedly spread the virus to the White House and the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
The cases received some media attention over the weekend and Harris spokesperson Symone Sanders initially claimed that the vice president did not need to take a COVID-19 test despite meeting with at least two of the Democratic lawmakers who have since tested positive.
As the Biden administration seeks to downplay the characterization of a “super spreader” event, White House press secretary Jen Psaki subsequently provided some seemingly contradictory information in a statement of her own.
Although she cited the vice president’s office, reports indicate it was Psaki herself who first shared the news.
“I think the Vice President’s Office put out that she was tested, and that she did — there was no detection of COVID-19,” Psaki said on Monday.
“Not in conflict with the statement we put out”
Sanders reacted to the apparent discrepancy by attempting to thread a semantic needle and insist that both statements were accurate.
She said that the negative result came from one of the tests administered to Harris on a “regular” basis and had nothing to do with her meeting with the Texas Democrats.
“That is not in conflict with the statement we put out on Saturday,” Sanders said.
For its part, the Biden administration has asserted that Harris visited Walter Reed Medical Center for a doctor’s visit on Sunday by mere coincidence.
Even as the White House faces accusations that it is spreading misinformation about the vice president, the administration is flirting with censorship in response to social media misinformation related to the COVID-19 vaccine and other hot-button topics.