- Title: USA: Biden swine flu comments prompt clarification
- Date: 1st May 2009
- Summary: #NEWARK, NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE AT ARLINE TICKETING COUNTER
- Embargoed: 16th May 2009 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Health,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAB5EFXYAJLD7DJZWX844YY62ZI
- Story Text: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says he would tell his family to stay out of airplanes or subways to avoid contracting swine flu, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday (April 30) he would tell his family to stay out of airplanes or subways to avoid contracting swine flu, prompting his office to issue a clarification.
Asked on NBC's "Today" show what he would tell members of his family if they asked him whether they should get on a commercial airliner to Mexico in the next week, Biden said:
"I would tell members of my family -- and I have -- I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now."
He said the problem is that "when one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft."
"I would not be, at this point, if they had another way of transportation, suggesting they ride the subway. So from my perspective, what it relates to is mitigation," he said.
"If you're out in the middle of a field and someone sneezes, that's one thing. If you're in a closed aircraft or a closed container, a closed car, a closed classroom, it's a different thing," he added.
Biden's spokesperson, Elizabeth Alexander, sought to clarify Biden's remarks in an off-camera statement issued shortly after his television interview.
The statement said that Biden has given the same advice to his family members that he is givening to all Americans: that they should avoid unnecessary air travel to and from Mexico. The statement aslo said that sick individuals should avoid airplanes and other confined public spaces.
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