Biden may not use Covid as excuse for avoiding it

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Biden may not use Covid as excuse for avoiding it

JERUSALEM — It is the handshake that President Biden would dearly love to avoid if he could. So will he use Covid 19 as a reason to keep arm length from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when he arrives in Saudi Arabia later this week?

White House officials flying with Mr. Biden to Jerusalem on Wednesday for the first stop of his four-day swing through the Middle East, hints that the president may refrain from handshakes altogether during his trip, in response to the rise of the highly contagious Omicron subvariant known as BA. Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, told reporters on Air Force One that he would not reveal whether Mr. Biden would keep his hands to himself during the trip as a result of the Pandemic. I can't speak to every moment, every interaction, and every movement. That is just a general principle that we are applying.