September 17, 2009

Sneeze at briefing nothing to sneeze at

A sneeze is just a sneeze except when it's done in front of the U.S. health and human services secretary -- then it's a learning moment.

Kathleen Sebelius called out an errant sneezer during a White House news briefing Thursday while she was reviewing several department initiatives.

Bless you, she said, then realized the reporter didn't use the preferred method of sneezing into the crook of his elbow. I mean, what is that about?

One reporter noted his 2-year-old child did it the correct way this morning.

After asking someone to give the improper sneezer some hand sanitizer, Sebelius said, We'll have Elmo give (the reporter) a special briefing. We'll get Elmo over. Elmo knows how to sneeze.

The beloved Sesame Street character is part of a public service campaign to emphasize the need for proper hygiene, especially during the flu season.