WASHINGTON (THE HILL) — White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that President Biden will be watching the 2022 Beijing Olympics, which kick off on Friday, despite the U.S.’s diplomatic boycott of the games.
“Absolutely,” Psaki said when asked if Biden will be watching.
“Yes, we are looking forward to it and to cheering on our American athletes who will be competition,” she added.
The U.S. is not sending any government officials to Beijing for the Winter Games.
“I’m not going to rule out an Olympics outfit in here, I encourage you all to do the same,” Psaki said.
Biden in December announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, citing the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang along with other human rights abuses.
Psaki was questioned earlier this week about if Biden is concerned about the safety of American athletes competing after former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) wrote a letter to athletes about the high-risk environment.
“We are very focused on the safety of American athletes,” Psaki said. “We made a decision not to send a delegation. It was not related to that; it was related to our concerns about PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.”
She said she expects China to ensure the safety of U.S. athletes.
“But in terms of athletes, we do everything possible to work in coordination with the U.S. Olympic Committee. We’re providing consular and security services to our athletes, coaches, trainers, and staff, as we do for all U.S. citizens overseas,” she added.