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By Sarah May on
 August 17, 2023

Yellen recounts dining on hallucinogenic mushrooms during recent China trip

In one of the more bizarre anecdotes to come from a White House official in recent years, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recounted this week that during a recent trip to China, she dined on hallucinogenic mushrooms, as Fox Business explains.

Yellen's recollections of the experience came during an appearance on CNN in which host Erin Burnett sought insights on what, if any, effects the delicacy had on the high-ranking Biden administration official.

Burnett launched into the topic with Yellen by stating, “You set off a frenzy because you ordered a mushroom dish that contains, apparently, what are considered 'magic mushrooms.'”

Describing her experience at a branch of the Yi Zuo Yi Wang restaurant chain, Yellen explained, “So, I went with this large group of people, and the person who had arranged our dinner did the ordering.”

“There was this delicious mushroom dish. I was not aware that these mushrooms had hallucinogenic properties,” Yellen went on. “I learned that later.”

Discounting the notion that she was at any real risk of impairment as a result of her meal, Yellen added, “I read that if the mushrooms are cooked properly, which I'm sure they were at this very good restaurant, that they have no impact.”

“But all of us enjoyed the mushrooms, the restaurant, and none of us felt any ill effects from having eaten them,” the Treasury secretary concluded.

As Fox Business noted, the mushrooms in which Yellen was said to have indulged were of the “jian shou qing” variety, which are not only renowned for their hallucinogenic features, but also their tendency to turn blue when handled.

The outlet indicated that the hallucinations these fungi have been known to cause can sometimes last for days, but their impact on individuals varies widely.

As was suggested by Yellen, Fox News confirmed that when properly prepared, the mushrooms are indeed safe to consume without fear of ill effects.

Though the notion of the Treasury secretary gorging on magic mushrooms was certainly fodder for humorous quips from legions of conservative pundits, there was another incident that occurred during Yellen's visit to China that did not elicit quite so many laughs.

As Fox News reported at the time, Yellen was seen on video footage bowing to Vice Premier He Lifeng multiple times while also shaking his hand, a gesture seen by many as one of extreme and undignified deference.

Brad Blakeman, who served as a staffer during the administration of former President George W. Bush, explained to the New York Post that Yellen's conduct sent the worst possible message to Beijing.

“Never, ever, ever...an American official does not bow. It looks like she's been summoned to the principal's office, and that's exactly the optics the Chinese love,” Blakeman lamented, echoing sentiments certainly shared by countless critics of the current administration's anemic approach to the Asian power.

Written By:
Sarah May

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