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Biden Announces ‘The First Lady’s Husband Contracted COVID’ — Has To Be Reminded That’s Him
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 15: U.S. President Joe Biden addresses and event to celebrate Equal Pay Day in the East Room of the White House on March 15, 2022 in Washington, DC. Marking Women's History Month, Biden highlighted his administration's effort to eliminate the use of salary history in setting pay for federal workers, which can depress salaries when moving from job to job. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that “the first lady’s husband contracted COVID” — only to be reminded a few seconds later by someone on the sidelines that he, in fact, was the first lady’s husband.

“Look at the stage,” Biden said, gesturing off to one side. “There’s been a little change in the arrangement of who’s on the stage, because of — the first lady’s husband contracted COVID, but … look at this room and what you’ll see …”

Someone off to the side caught Biden’s attention then, and he stepped back slightly from the microphone to hear them.

“Pardon me?” he said, and laughter erupted in the room, only getting louder as Biden clearly realized what he had said and added, “That’s right. She’s fine. It’s me … The second lady — the first gentleman — how about that?”

Biden had apparently been trying to announce that second gentleman Doug Emhoff, husband to Vice President Kamala Harris, had tested positive for COVID-19.

CNN reported:

“Earlier today, the Second Gentleman tested positive for Covid-19,” said Sabrina Singh, deputy press secretary for Vice President Kamala Harris. “Out of an abundance of caution, the Vice President will not participate in tonight’s event. The Vice President tested negative for Covid-19 today and will continue to test.”

Emhoff’s positive test is the first known case of Covid-19 among the first or second families since President Joe Biden and Harris took office in January 2021.

“I tested positive for COVID. My symptoms are mild and I’m grateful to be both vaccinated and boosted,” Emhoff said on Twitter Tuesday night. “If you have yet to get vaccinated and boosted, please don’t wait.”

According to a report from Politico, Emhoff is not considered to be a “close contact” to the president. Harris, who has thus far tested negative, was with both Emhoff and Biden in the last several days. The president, the official said, “was tested this weekend as part of his regular cadence, and we will continue his regular cadence of testing.”

Biden is scheduled to travel to Brussels next week for a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) conference on the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Biden also struggled when it came time to announce Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, appearing to forget which state (Michigan) Granholm had served as governor.

“Former Governor Jennifer Granholm of the Energy Department,” Biden began, adding, “I often kid her, and I wasn’t kidding early on when I was seeking the nomination, had she been born in America, she’d be standing here and I’d be sitting there.”

“She was the former governor of the state of — uh — Michigan. Michigan? Wrong. She was the former state of—she was a governor,” Biden continued.

Granholm, who was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, served as Governor of Michigan from 2003-2011 and as Michigan’s first female Attorney General from 1999-2003.

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