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Biden kicked out of country after flu remarks?

By Jimmy Orr / May 1, 2009

One day after a disastrous appearance on the Today Show where Vice President Biden advised not to fly or take the subway, his office announced that he's leaving the country. He will travel to Southeastern Europe the week of May 18th and visit Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo.

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Things have gotten so bad for the vice president following his disastrous Today Show appearance that he's been exiled?

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No. It's just coincidental that the day after he strayed way off message on how to deal with the flu virus that his office announced he's going on an overseas trip.

The veep is headed for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo beginning on May 18.

"During the visit, the Vice President will meet with the political leadership in all three countries, as well as U.S. officials and military personnel stationed in the region," the vice president's office announced.

Yesterday

That's a much less urgent message than the one his office cranked out yesterday following his appearance on the Today Show. That press release explained that what Biden said on the program -- he didn't mean.

“On the Today Show this morning the Vice President was asked what he would tell a family member who was considering air travel to Mexico this week," the release read. "The advice he is giving family members is the same advice the Administration is giving to all Americans: that they should avoid unnecessary air travel to and from Mexico."

Not so much

Of course, that's not at all what he said.

"I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places right now," Biden said, specifically mentioning subways and airplanes.

When White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also tried to spin Biden's remarks, one White House reporter wouldn't stand for it and pushed back.

That resulted in a priceless statement by Gibbs followed by an eruption of laughter.

"I understand what he said, and I’m telling you what he meant to say," the frustrated flack snapped.

Coast to coast

Gibbs wasn't alone. Politicians across America had to assure their constituents that the vice president was overreacting.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was one of the first to calm the masses.

“My message really is it IS safe to fly. There is no reason to cancel flights," he said.

Huff

Regardless, we still like comedian Andy Borowitz's take on it (our favorite blogger at the Huffington Post).

Taking his most urgent action to date since cases of swine flu were first reported, President Barack Obama today ordered an emergency quarantine of Vice President Joe Biden.
According to President Obama, the vice president will be kept in a sealed box away from television cameras and microphones "until we are certain that the danger is passed."
"There is no clear scientific proof that swine flu can be spread by television cameras or microphones," Mr. Obama said. "But it's better to be safe than sorry."

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