President Biden is being labeled as sexist after telling registered nurse Brittney Hayes that she looks like a freshman during a virtual tour with Vice President Kamala Harris of the State Farm Stadium vaccination site in Glendale, Arizona.
The compliment came across as extremely awkward as Biden shamelessly flirted with the woman, who has been a nurse for nine years, over her youthful appearance. A number of people found the praise heaped on the nursing supervisor by the president “creepy.” The statement by Biden had nothing to do with vaccinations or the pandemic and it was widely viewed as inappropriate.
Hayes had just wrapped up describing the coronavirus vaccination process for residents in order to get the Pfizer vaccine. She explained that it is being called a “dose of hope.” That’s when Biden made his comment.
“Are you a freshman at the university?” Biden asked Hayes. He may have been referring to nearby Arizona State University in Tempe.
(Source: White House)
Hayes laughed nervously and responded, “No. No. No.”
“You look like a freshman,” Biden said, laughing. Then he thanked her for her work concerning the pandemic.
Harris then asked her questions, which included asking Hayes for her advice on setting up and conducting massive vaccination operations.
As Harris finished speaking with Hayes, Biden appeared to be confused concerning her status as a nurse.
“And you’re a — are you a nurse?” Biden asked.
“I am. I’m a nurse. I’m an RN. I’ve been an RN for about nine years now,” Hayes responded.
The president said: “Well, I know, having been a significant consumer of healthcare, I can tell — I know the Vice President knows this, when I say it: Doctors let you live; nurses make you want to live. If there’s any angels in Heaven, they’re all nurses, male and female. And that’s not an exaggeration.”
A number of critics took offense at the ‘freshman’ remark and panned Biden as being sexist while some just thought it was bizarre.
Donald Trump Jr. simply commented: “Cringe.”
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 8, 2021
Livinthedream92 tweeted: “Creepy Joe at it again. It’s never going to stop.”
Twitter commenter @StephenPorterJr labeled the exchange as “predator behavior.”
Policy analyst Ana Rosa Quintana remarked: “What professional woman wants to be infantilized like a receptionist on Mad Men…”
Nicole Saphier, MD, tweeted on the incident: “Women in health care are no stranger to sexists comments made my men, especially those in superior positions.”
And Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe was bluntly succinct in her evaluation of the matter: “Sexist.”
The cringeworthy optics of the exchange were not a good look for President Biden who has previously been called out for inappropriate touching of women and girls and other off-color remarks that were deemed offensive in nature.
That wasn’t the only uncomfortable moment of the president’s virtual tour, according to the New York Post, In a different incident, Major Gen. Michael McGuire of the Arizona National Guard told Biden that other states were welcome to copy his state’s COVID-19 plan. Biden has previously been caught up in a plagiarism scandal during his 1988 presidential run, and this made the exchange even more awkward.
“Plagiarism is the highest form of flattery — that’s what we say — so if everyone wants to copy what Arizona is doing, we think we’ve got it figured out here,” McGuire cluelessly quipped.
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