Joe Biden and other world leaders are given a microphone ‘condom’ at UN to stop General Assembly from turning into a COVID superspreader
- Every speaker – including President Joe Biden – was given a fresh microphone head at Tuesday’s United Nations General Assembly
- One reporter remarked : ‘New in the age of COVID, a little condom for the microphone’
- The nickname was given for both the mic head’s appearance and the protection it was supposed to provide
- U.N. Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield had expressed concerns in advance of UNGA that it could become a COVID-19 ‘superspreader’
- Biden addressed the U.N. after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who confirmed Monday that he remained unvaccinated against COVID-19
- ‘According to the UN COVID-19 protocols, the podium will be cleaned after every speaker and the microphone head will be replaced,’ the White House said
Every speaker – including President Joe Biden – was given a fresh microphone head at Tuesday’s United Nations General Assembly in order to prevent the gathering of world leaders from becoming a COVID superspraeder event.
One reporter remarked: ‘New in the age of COVID, a little condom for the microphone’ – for both its bag-like appearance and the protection it was supposed to provide.
‘According to the UN COVID-19 protocols, the podium will be cleaned after every speaker and the microphone head will be replaced,’ a White House official said.
Every speaker was given a fresh microphone head at Tuesday’s U.N. General Assembly in order to prevent the gathering of world leaders from becoming a COVID superspraeder event
Voice of America’s Patsy WidaKuswara nicknamed the microphone heads ‘a little condom for the microphone’ during Tuesday’s UNGA meeting
President Joe Biden was given a fresh microphone ‘condom’ before his address to the United Nations Tuesday
The mic contraption can be seen on the podium as Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro speaks. Bolsonaro confirmed Monday that he remains unvaccinated against COVID-19
Biden was speaking at U.N. headquarters in New York directly after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who confirmed Monday to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that he hasn’t been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Johnson urged people to ‘get AstraZeneca vaccines’ – one that hasn’t yet been approved in the United States.
‘I’ve had it twice,’ the British PM said, to which Bolsonaro replied, ‘Not yet.’
Bolsonaro had COVID in July 2020.
‘I already had the virus,’ he said. ‘I think what must happen is that after the last Brazilian gets vaccinated, if there’s a spare shot, I will decide whether or not I get vaccinated.’ He added that ‘that’s the example the boss must provide.’
After the mask-less Bolsonaro left the podium, a worker came and switched out the microphone head, which had the appearance of black, condom-like bag.
The White House later put out the statement pointing out the mic swap was happening between every world leader, meaning it wasn’t just a precaution surrounding Bolsonaro’s vaccination status.
Workers sanitized the podium when Biden – who is vaccinated – exited too.
In advance of the in-person summit, U.N. Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield expressed concerns that UNGA could lead to more COVID-19 infections.
‘We are concerned about the U.N. event being a superspreader event, and that we need to take all measures to ensure that it does not become a superspreader event,’ she said at a press conference Friday.
While precautions were taken, the main event was still held indoors, in the U.N.’s Assembly Hall.
Biden stayed on the ground in New York for less than 24 hours, traveling to the city Monday night for a meeting with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
He gave his speech Tuesday and met with the leaders of Australia and Iraq before heading back to Washington for a meeting with Johnson at the White House.
Biden will particpate in UNGA on Wednesday virtually, hosting a summit on COVID-19.