Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen surprised many when she shared an unexpected dining experience during her recent trip to China, revealing Monday that she unwittingly consumed a dish containing hallucinogenic mushrooms.
During an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett on Monday, the top official laughed off the incident, while also prompting a whirlwind of reactions, from humorous remarks to serious concerns.
“I was not aware that these mushrooms had hallucinogenic properties. I learned that later,” Yellen remarked about her meal at a Beijing-based restaurant from the Yunnan food chain, Yi Zuo Yi Wang.
In response to Burnett’s inquiry regarding any post-dining visions, Yellen chuckled, stating, “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.”
Yellen also claimed that neither she nor her dining companions felt any ill effects after eating the mushrooms. CNN reported that Yellen’s hearty appreciation for the dish led her to order four portions, turning the occasion into an “extremely magical day.”
After Yellen’s interview, social media quickly lit up with various reactions from political commentators. David Gura of NPR lightened the mood with a witty economic jest, stating the “effects were transitory.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) expressed disbelief, commenting, “A Biden cabinet member was served hallucinogenic mushrooms in China? Can’t make this stuff up.”
Additionally, Eric Garland, a self-proclaimed geopolitical analyst, raised concerns over potential intelligence operations involving psychedelics.
“Intelligence officers use psychedelics to compromise their targets,” he said. “If they targeted Janet Yellen as part of an operation, diplomatic punishments should be swift and harsh.”
Yellen’s visit to China was not without controversy. Emerging video clips of Yellen bowing repeatedly to a Chinese official stirred criticism, overshadowing some of her diplomatic efforts.
This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.