Biden will ‘absolutely’ watch the Beijing Olympics

WASHINGTON (THE HILL) — White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that President Biden will monitor the 2022 Beijing Olympics, which begin on Friday, despite a diplomatic boycott of the Games by the United States.

“Absolutely,” Psaki said when asked if Biden would watch.

“Yes, we are looking forward to being there and cheering on our American athletes who will be competing,” she added.

The United States is not sending any government officials to Beijing for the Winter Games.

“I’m not going to rule out an Olympic outfit here, I encourage you all to do the same,” Psaki said.

Biden announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics in December, citing ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang as well as other human rights abuses.

Psaki was asked earlier this week if Biden was concerned about the safety of competing American athletes after former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley and Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) wrote a letter to athletes on high risk environment.

“We are very focused on the safety of American athletes,” Psaki said. “We made the decision not to send a delegation. It wasn’t related to that; this was related to our concerns about CRP [People’s Republic of China] the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights violations.

She said she expects China to ensure the safety of American athletes.

“But in terms of the athletes, we’re doing everything we can to work in coordination with the US Olympic Committee. We provide consular and security services to our athletes, coaches, trainers and staff, as we do for all American citizens abroad,” she added.

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