On Wednesday, a reporter sparked a debate when they questioned White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the calls to permit tennis superstar Novak Djokovic to participate in the U.S.
Djokovic, who holds the top spot in world tennis rankings, has been barred from entering the United States due to his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The reporter inquired about the recent appeal made by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to allow Djokovic to participate in the Miami Open tennis tournament. However, instead of giving a direct response, Jean-Pierre directed the reporter to seek guidance from the CDC.
"So, on a question of regarding the vaccination requirement, I would refer you to the CDC. They’re the ones who deal with that. It’s still in place, and we expect everyone to abide by our country’s rule, whether as a participant or a spectator."
Karine Jean-Pierre says "we expect everyone to abide" by Biden's vaccination requirement for foreign travelers to the U.S. — including Novak Djokovic pic.twitter.com/OpKca4TJsA
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 8, 2023
Jean-Pierre reiterated that the decision regarding Djokovic's entry into the U.S. was not solely made by the government, but also involved the BNP Open, a prominent tennis tournament held in Indian Wells, California.
"As for what goes on specifically with the BNP Open, those are questions for them. It is a private entity, and so we will let them speak to that. But again, this is something that the CDC speaks to."
Critics have criticized President Joe Biden for persistently denying permission for Novak Djokovic, a 22-time Grand Slam title holder, to participate in tournaments held in the United States.
As per Reuters, Djokovic requested permission to enter the U.S. in February and stated during a practice session in Belgrade that his "plans" hinged on gaining access to the country.
"I’m waiting for a reply, it’s not on me… I will know soon," Djokovic said.
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