The White House has laid out new ground rules for the way US President Joe Biden will interact with the public and the media once he puts his current COVID relapse behind him.
Mr Biden was again diagnosed with the COVID virus just days after he was cleared to emerge from isolation for a previous infection detected almost a fortnight ago.
A White House spokesperson said the President remained in isolation and was “doing very well”.
“There is no need for stock markets, Congress, the Democratic Party, US allies or opponents, the media, or anyone else for that matter to panic about the President’s condition,” the spokesperson hastily added.
“Nevertheless, we have decided to implement new arrangements for the President’s appearances that will take force immediately and will remain in force at least until election day in November 2024.
“The President will wear a mask 24/7, even when sleeping, and will remain permanently in the White House between now and the election.
“We will be limiting his public appearances, most likely to none, and any meetings or news conferences he has will take place online and in isolation. (main picture – supplied by the White House)
“His use of virtual meeting technology means he will also not be personally attending the Democratic Party’s presidential nominating convention in 2024.
“The President has also decided not to undertake any overseas travel or any face-to-face meetings with world leaders. These will also be conducted online, with his mask on just to be safe.”
The White House spokesperson said although the President was “fighting fit”, the COVID relapse would likely leave behind some slight changes in Mr Biden’s appearance and behaviour.
“People may notice that his skin colour is slightly paler – waxy even – and that his voice sounds a tad, shall we say, electronic.
“The President’s movements may seem a bit jerky and if you get close enough to him he may smell a bit, but I’m assured that it’s just a reaction to having COVID twice, as is his new habit of keeping his eyes permanently closed,” the spokesperson said. “But none of those is anything to worry about. Period.”